September 2018

September 2018

September 2018


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<strong>September</strong> <strong>2018</strong><br />

PNB fraud :<br />

Interpol issues red<br />

corner notice<br />

against Nirav’s aide<br />

New Delhi, Interpol has<br />

issued a ‘red corner notice’<br />

(RCN) against Mumbai-based<br />

fugitive Mihir Rashmi<br />

Bhansali, an accused in the<br />

multi-crore Punjab National<br />

Bank (PNB) loan fraud case<br />

involving<br />

his employer<br />

Nirav<br />

Modi and<br />

his uncle<br />

M e h u l<br />

Choksi.<br />

Bhansali,<br />

who was an<br />

executive<br />

of Nirav<br />

Modi’s Firestar International<br />

firm, is absconding since the<br />

probe started in the alleged $2<br />

billion PNB fraud case.<br />

The RCN, which is issued<br />

to seek the location and arrest<br />

of wanted person(s) with a<br />

view to extradition or similar<br />

lawful action, followed<br />

Enforcement Directorate’s<br />

(ED) request to the Interpol<br />

made earlier through the<br />

Central Bureau of<br />

Investigation. The ED wants<br />

to question Bhansali to<br />

unearth further details of the<br />

crime committed by Nirav<br />

Modi and his uncle to cheat<br />

the Mumbai-based PNB’s<br />

Brady House branch. The<br />

notice mentions that<br />

“Bhansali, 40, is wanted by<br />

judicial authorities of India<br />

under offences of money laundering”.<br />

Referring Bhansali’s forename<br />

as Mihir Rashmi, the<br />

notice said: “If you have any<br />

information please contact<br />

your national or local police<br />

General Secretariat of<br />

Interpol.” The Interpol, in its<br />

notice, requested its 192-<br />

member countries to arrest or<br />

detain Bhansali so that his<br />

extradition process could<br />

begin. The Interpol has issued<br />

similar notice against Nirav<br />

Modi, who as well as his family<br />

and uncle Choksi left the<br />

country in January, a month<br />

before the fraud came to light.<br />

The notice mentions<br />

Bhansali’s birth place Mumbai<br />

and describes his date of birth<br />

as November 15, 1977.<br />

Bhansali’s photo is also<br />

pasted on the notice in which<br />

he is seen clean shaven and<br />

wearing spectacles.<br />

China welcomes 2+2 dialogue,<br />


Beijing, China on Friday said it<br />

was “happy” to see the maiden “2+2”<br />

dialogue between India and the US and<br />

hoped the two countries would do more<br />

for regional peace and stability in the<br />

region.<br />

During the talks on Thursday, New<br />

Delhi and Washington inked a crucial<br />

defence pact and vowed to work for a<br />

free and open Indo-Pacific region.<br />

Reacting to the joint pledge by India<br />

and the US for inclusive Indo-Pacific,<br />

Beijing said it was well entitled to sail<br />

into the international waters.<br />

The Chinese Foreign Ministry said<br />

Beijing hoped that “parties can do real<br />

things to ensure freedom of navigation<br />

in the Indo-Pacific region”.<br />

“As to the 2+2 consultation between<br />

India and the US, we have seen the<br />

report. We are happy to see the normal<br />

bilateral relations between them. We<br />

also hope that in this process they will<br />

do more to regional peace and regional<br />

Water crisis : Imran<br />

Khan seeks overseas<br />

Pakistanis’ help<br />

Islamabad, Prime Minister Imran Khan<br />

on Friday sought assistance from overseas<br />

Pakistanis to help overcome the “biggest<br />

issue” of water crisis in the country by<br />

donating to the dams fund set up by the<br />

Supreme Court.<br />

“The largest problem<br />

is the water issue in the<br />

country,” Khan said in a<br />

televised address to the<br />

nation, adding that it was<br />

crucial for Pakistan to<br />

build dams as failure to<br />

do so could be detrimental<br />

to its future generations.<br />

“Experts say if we do<br />

not make dams we will<br />

face a drought in seven<br />

years. We have to start making dams from<br />

today.” “I want to commend Chief Justice<br />

Mian Saqib Nisar (for starting the dams<br />

fund), but this was not his job,” Khan said.<br />

“This was the job of civilian leaders who<br />

knew this was going to swell into a crisis<br />

stability,” Ministry spokesperson Hua<br />

Chunying said replying to a question<br />

how China viewed the<br />

but did nothing to thwart it.” Khan urged<br />

overseas Pakistanis to contribute to the<br />

dams fund. “If every overseas Pakistani<br />

contributes to this we will be able to construct<br />

the dams and our reserves will also<br />

improve,” the Prime<br />

Minister said.<br />

He appealed to<br />

Pakistanis in Europe and<br />

the US to contribute at<br />

least $1,000. “Pakistanis<br />

working in the Middle<br />

East and other countries<br />

can also contribute<br />

according to their capacity,”<br />

Khan said, adding<br />

that the Prime Minister’s<br />

fund for dam would be<br />

now part of Chief<br />

Justice’s fund and both will be merged.<br />

This was Khan’s second address with the<br />

nation since assuming office. In his first<br />

address, he had outlined austerity measures<br />

and the need to tackle corruption to bring<br />

Pakistan on track.<br />

Communications, Compatibility and<br />

Security Agreement (Comcasa) between<br />

New Delhi and Washington.<br />

India and the US have strategically<br />

grown closer to each<br />

other in recent years, unsettling<br />

Beijing which thinks that<br />

Washington is using New Delhi<br />

to contain it.<br />

Alarmed by the growing presence<br />

of the Chinese Navy in the<br />

Indian and Pacific Oceans, the<br />

US, India, Japan and Australia<br />

have formed a regional grouping,<br />

dubbed as “Quad”.<br />

The Indo-Pacific featured in<br />

2+2 dialogue on Thursday and<br />

both New Delhi and Washington<br />

vowed to work for inclusive and<br />

open Indo-Pacific.<br />

“You also mentioned about<br />

the security issue of navigation in<br />

the sea. We uphold the legal<br />

rights entitled in the international<br />

law and we also that hope parties<br />

can do real things to ensure freedom of<br />

navigation,” Hua added.<br />



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2 <strong>September</strong> <strong>2018</strong><br />


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Protest in London to Stop the Witch-<br />

Hunt of Human Rights Activists in India!<br />

and Resist the Modi Emergency !<br />

31st August saw a powerful protest<br />

in London to Stop the Witch-Hunt of<br />

Rights Activists in India! and Resist<br />

the Modi Emergency!<br />

Why we were protesting<br />

The Modi government has<br />

unleashed a massive witch hunt<br />

against a whole range of dissenting<br />

voices targeting some of India’s most<br />

credible and respected human rights<br />

activists and public intellectuals, using<br />

trumped up charges and patently false<br />

allegations to try to silence all opposition<br />

and terrorise dissidents.<br />

In raids on 28 August across the<br />

country, a series of activists were<br />

arrested -noted Chhattishgarh-based<br />

trade union leader and tribal rights<br />

campaigner Sudha Bharadwaj (arrested<br />

from Faridabad), renowned writer<br />

Varavara Rao (arrested from<br />

Hyderabad),activists Arun Ferreira<br />

(who has incidentally written a book<br />

on his experience of being in prison<br />

for five years on false charges) and<br />

Vernon Gonsalves (picked up from<br />

Mumbai) and long-standing human<br />

rights campaigner Gautam Navlakha<br />

(who was arrested from his residence<br />

in Delhi but the High Court stayed his<br />

remand to Pune).<br />

Among those whose houses have<br />

been raided are Ranchi-based Father<br />

Stan Swamy (who has been opposing<br />

corporate landgrab and Hindutva violence<br />

in Jharkhand and has recently<br />

been charged with ‘sedition’), journalist<br />

Kranthi Tekula, lawyer Susan<br />

Abraham who is defending Surendra<br />

Gadling and others, Dalit writer and<br />

academic Anand Teltumbde, and<br />

Pavana and Prof. K. Satyanarayana<br />

(daughter and son-in-law of Varavara<br />

Rao). On 29 August, the Supreme<br />

Court responded to a petition filed on<br />

behalf of those arrested by ruling that<br />

they should not be kept in police custody<br />

but under house arrest until<br />

<strong>September</strong> 6, noting that ‘Dissent is<br />

the safety-valve of democracy’.<br />

The BJP-led Maharashtra<br />

Government and the Pune Police are<br />

using the Bhima Koregaon violence of<br />

January 1 <strong>2018</strong> as the pretext for planning<br />

this witch hunt. The year <strong>2018</strong><br />

started with violence against Dalits in<br />

Bhima Koregaon when thousands of<br />

Dalits gathered there in a commemoration<br />

of a historic victory. Hindutva<br />

thugs with saffron flags in hand<br />

attacked the Dalits. The main masterminds<br />

behind the Bhima Korgaon<br />

anti-Dalit atrocity are Shambhaji<br />

Bhide and Milind Ekbote. Both of<br />

them are closely connected with the<br />

BJP. Shambhaji Bhide is the founder<br />

of the Shivpratisthan Sangstha, which<br />

has incited several communal riots in<br />

Maharashtra. Both of them are roaming<br />

free while human rights and Dalit<br />

rights activists are being targeted.<br />

The human rights movement which<br />

emerged out of the experience of<br />

resistance to the 1975-77 Emergency<br />

is today being branded as an ‘Urban<br />

Naxal’ project. An actual incident of<br />

anti-Dalit violence is being manipulated<br />

to persecute Dalit rights activists.<br />

While Hindutva terrorist organisations<br />

like Sanatan Sanstha are enjoying full<br />

impunity to openly threaten people<br />

and call for overturning the<br />

Constitution, lawyers, writers, poets<br />

and public intellectuals have been<br />

framed with outlandish charges of<br />

plotting an assassination of the Prime<br />

Minister, in a move with striking parallels<br />

with the history of Nazi<br />

Germany.<br />

The fact that as K. Pavana and Prof.<br />

K. Satyanarayanan have testified, the<br />

police raiders asked questions like<br />

‘Why do you read books by Mao and<br />

Marx?’ ‘Why do you have pictures of<br />

Ambedkar and Phule and not of<br />

gods and goddesses?’ and ‘Why do<br />

you not wear jewellery and sindoor as<br />

a wife?’ indicates what are now considered<br />

‘crimes’ in Modi’s India.<br />

These raids and arrests, the slapping<br />

of sedition charges and the invoking of<br />

draconian laws like UAPA are all<br />

aimed at reducing India to a republic of<br />

fear. The Indian state is doing this in<br />

partnership with the organized lynch<br />

mobs murdering Muslims and Dalits<br />

on a daily basis and the hired assassins<br />

being deployed to kill dissidents. The<br />

assassinations of Dabholkar, Pansare,<br />

Kalburgi and Gauri Lankesh, the failed<br />

attempt on the life of Umar Khalid,<br />

repeated attacks on Swami Agnivesh<br />

and the continuing persecution of<br />

human rights campaigners are all part<br />

of the same strategy of silencing dissent<br />

and subordinating democracy to a<br />

fascist regime of fear and repression,<br />

hate and lies.<br />

But resistance is growing and in<br />

response to this new spate of attacks<br />

on activists, lawyers and writers who<br />

have always fought for the oppressed<br />

and marginalized, the people have<br />

come onto the streets to demand their<br />

unconditional release in protests in<br />

cities across India.<br />

This protest at the Indian High<br />

Commission in London by South Asia<br />

Solidarity Group and CasteWatchUK<br />

was been called in solidarity with this<br />

resistance.<br />

Mr Muman , Chair of Caste Watch<br />

UK compared the current state of vigilance<br />

and repression to the Gestapo<br />

unleashing reign of terror. He<br />

endorsed Arundhati Roy’s observation<br />

that the British were blamed for divide<br />

and rule but the BJP is guilty of divert<br />

and rule in the run up to the election<br />

2019.<br />

Our demands:<br />

Stop the Witchhunts! Release the<br />

human rights activists , lawyers and<br />

writers arrested on these fake charges!<br />

Stop Hindutva Terrorism!<br />

At the protest the names of those<br />

arrested were called out as we<br />

demanded that they were freed.<br />

Team AI :<br />

Devinder Chander<br />

Editor-in-chief<br />

Fred Shakir<br />

Marketing & Creative Manager<br />

Columnists<br />

V.B. Rawat<br />

Farzana Suri<br />

Arun Kumar<br />

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London : Britain’s<br />

former Foreign Secretary<br />

Boris Johnson and his wife<br />

Marina Wheeler announced<br />

on Friday that they have separated<br />

and are in the process of<br />

a divorce.<br />

Johnson and the senior<br />

lawyer, both 54, have been<br />

married for 25 years. They<br />

made the announcement in a<br />

joint statement after a story<br />

appeared in the Sun newspaper<br />

detailing claims that<br />

Johnson was “unfaithful”, the<br />

Guardian reported.<br />

“Several months ago, after<br />

25 years of marriage, we<br />

decided it was in our best<br />

interests to separate,” the joint<br />

statement read.<br />

“We have subsequently<br />

agreed to divorce and that<br />

process is under way… As<br />

friends we will continue to<br />

support our four children in<br />

the years ahead. We will not<br />

be commenting further,” it<br />

said.<br />

Johnson, who has four children<br />

with Wheeler, resigned<br />

from the government in July<br />

over his opposition to Prime<br />

Minister Theresa May’s<br />

Chequers Brexit plan.<br />

He has since written a<br />

series of articles criticising the<br />

government, which have been<br />

viewed as attempts to position<br />

himself as an alternative<br />

Prime Minister.<br />

Wheeler is a human<br />

rights lawyer who became a<br />

Queen’s counsel in 2016.<br />

Johnson credited her as a key<br />

voice in his decision to<br />

support Brexit before the<br />

referendum.<br />

* The Asian Independent and people associated with it are not responsible for any claims made by the advertisers and do not endorse in any products or services advertised. Please visit www.theasianindependent.com/tc for more information.

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<strong>September</strong> <strong>2018</strong><br />



3<br />

Dr. Aman Puri, Consul<br />

General honoured Mr. Paul<br />

Sabapathy, Former Lord<br />

Lieutenant of West Midlands<br />

for his outstanding contribution<br />

towards cohesion of the<br />

Indian and British community<br />

in the United Kingdom.<br />

Consul General Dr. Aman Puri highlights India’s achievements, endeavours and future projects, at the India’s 72nd<br />

Independence day celebrations & (Right Side) From Left to right – Consul General Dr. Aman Puri, Lord Lieutenant of<br />

West Midlands Mr. John Crabtree, Lord Mayor of Birmingham Councillor Yvonne Mosquito.<br />

Over 800 guests attended the celebrations of the 71st Anniversary of India’s Independence<br />

at Town Hall Birmingham<br />

On August 15, <strong>2018</strong>, billions of<br />

Indians across the world celebrated<br />

the 71st anniversary of India’s<br />

Independence with great zeal and<br />

enthusiasm. The Consulate General of<br />

India in Birmingham held a grand celebration<br />

to mark the day, and to pay<br />

respects to the architects of the nation.<br />

To begin the celebrations, Consul<br />

General Dr Aman Puri unfurled the<br />

national flag in the Consulate premises.<br />

It was an occasion to salute the<br />

heroic and brave patriots who contributed<br />

to the creation of an<br />

Independent India. The event was<br />

marked by the rendition of National<br />

Anthem and reading out of the<br />

Honourable President of India’s message<br />

on the eve of Independence Day.<br />

This was followed by a grand cultural<br />

event in the heart of the city at<br />

the iconic Birmingham Town Hall<br />

which was hosted by the Consulate<br />

General of India in the evening of 15th<br />

August. Around 800 people graced the<br />

occasion which included professionals<br />

of various sectors, Indian community<br />

leaders, business executives, media<br />

representatives, and other invited<br />

guests. Local British community representatives<br />

were also present.<br />

Prominent dignitaries such as Mr John<br />

Crabtree, OBE (Lord-Lieutenant of<br />

the West Midlands), Mr Mike Kapur<br />

(Lord-Lieutenant of Leicester), Dr<br />

Beverly Lindsay, OBE OD VLL (Vice<br />

Lord-Lieutenant of West Midlands),<br />

Councillor Yvonne Mosquito (Lord<br />

Mayor of Birmingham), Councillor<br />

Rajash Mehta (Mayor of Telford and<br />

Wrekin), and several other Mayors<br />

and Mayoresses attended the celebrations.<br />

Ms Neena Gill, CBE (Member<br />

of the European Parliament for the<br />

West Midlands), Professor Robin<br />

Mason [Pro-Vice-Chancellor<br />

(International) University of<br />

Birmingham], and Professor Asif<br />

Ahmed (Founder of Aston Medical<br />

School at Aston University and<br />

Founder & Chairman of MirZyme<br />

Therapeutics) were among the other<br />

dignitaries present at the occasion.<br />

Consul General, Dr Aman Puri in his<br />

welcome address shared his pride as an<br />

Indian belonging to the world’s largest<br />

democracy, and the oldest continuous<br />

living civilisation. He remembered the<br />

freedom fighters and martyrs for their<br />

contributions and also paid tribute to<br />

those Indians who are working consistently<br />

towards making a better India. He<br />

made special mention of the contribution<br />

of women whether in the work<br />

force or as homemakers, towards building<br />

the modern nation. He enumerated<br />

India’s contribution in the cultural, economic<br />

and scientific fields and informed<br />

the gathering of the ambitious project<br />

“Gagan Yaan” announced by the<br />

Honourable Prime Minister of India<br />

from the ramparts of Red fort. The project<br />

aims to take India’s first indigenous<br />

manned mission to space by 2022. The<br />

Consul General also informed the gathering<br />

that the world’s largest government<br />

funded healthcare scheme which<br />

was announced recently, will be rolled<br />

out in <strong>September</strong> <strong>2018</strong>. Dr Puri appreciated<br />

the role of 31 million strong<br />

Overseas Indian community, the<br />

world’s largest diaspora, for being hugely<br />

successful and being a pillar of<br />

strength and resilience for the Indian<br />

economy. He quoted Honourable Prime<br />

Minister Modi that the Indian diaspora<br />

serves as a ‘living bridge’ between India<br />

and the world. He also informed that<br />

150th Birth Anniversary of Mahatma<br />

Gandhi will be celebrated from 2nd<br />

October over a two year period.<br />

Lord Lieutenant of West Midlands,<br />

John Crabtree OBE, termed the<br />

evening as a moment for remembrance<br />

of the central historical event<br />

of the 20th century South Asia, and a<br />

time for reflection. He called the day<br />

as celebration of the birth of the<br />

world’s largest democracy, a democratic<br />

rule based on one person, one<br />

vote, with no bar for race, gender or<br />

religion. He informed that over<br />

2,00,000 people of Indian heritage,<br />

have made West Midlands their home<br />

and their contribution have been quite<br />

remarkable, with almost GBP one billion<br />

being traded between the West<br />

Midlands and India each year.<br />

Councillor Yvonne Mosquito, Lord<br />

Mayor of Birmingham, commented<br />

that Independence Day is a time for<br />

the celebration of the significant contribution<br />

of Indian community to UK.<br />

She remarked that India is the jewel in<br />

Commonwealth, despite the significant<br />

challenges it has faced. She also<br />

appreciated the collective contribution<br />

of Indians, and that the Indians had triumphed<br />

where others failed.<br />

Councillor Rajash Mehta, Mayor of<br />

Telford and Wrekin, emphasised on<br />

building bridges and bringing communities<br />

together. He stated that the communities<br />

here, though diverse are united<br />

and it is the key to building a better<br />

and brighter future for the next generation.<br />

He expressed hope that the links<br />

so created will help to establish a better<br />

working relationship between Indian<br />

and British cultures of the 21st century.<br />

Ms. Neena Gill CBE, Member of the<br />

European Parliament, emphasized on<br />

the need for young British Indians to<br />

learn about the history of the country of<br />

their origin, be connected with their<br />

roots and contribute to the socio economic<br />

development of India. She<br />

encouraged the second generation<br />

British Indians to travel to India and<br />

build linkages in the fields of education,<br />

culture, trade and commerce. She also<br />

mentioned that Indian community<br />

needs to play a bigger role in British<br />

politics as there was a dearth of young<br />

leaders. She also congratulated the<br />

Consulate General of India for celebrating<br />

the 350th birth anniversary of Guru<br />

Gobind Singh ji, and hoped that there<br />

would be similar celebrations to mark<br />

the 550th birth anniversary of Guru<br />

Nanak Dev ji during the year 2019.<br />

Professor Robin Mason, Pro-Vice-<br />

Chancellor (International) University<br />

of Birmingham, observed that that<br />

India has come a long way, and is<br />

implementing progressive policies<br />

such as GST and the National Health<br />

Protection Scheme. He however commented<br />

that the UK’s political leadership<br />

needs to put in more efforts<br />

towards improving the relationship<br />

with India. He informed that the bilateral<br />

research collaboration between<br />

UK and India has grown exponentially<br />

Prof. Robin Mason, Pro VC<br />

International, University of<br />

Birmingham, praised the<br />

Indian diaspora in UK for<br />

their hard work and contribution<br />

in the economic development<br />

of UK & also mentioned<br />

that both India & UK<br />

are research power-houses.<br />

and that UK ranks 3rd in R&D while<br />

India ranks 10th in the world. He called<br />

both the countries as research powerhouses.<br />

Prof Mason informed the gathering<br />

that India Institute’s inaugural<br />

distinguished lecture in collaboration<br />

with the Consulate General of India<br />

will be delivered by former Foreign<br />

Secretary of India, Ambassador Dr. S<br />

Jaishankar. Ambassador Jaishankar is<br />

currently the President Global Affairs<br />

of the TATA group.<br />

Professor Asif Ahmed, Founder of<br />

Aston Medical School at Aston<br />

University and Founder & Chairman<br />

of MirZyme Therapeutics, remarked<br />

that the Indian society has been multicultural,<br />

multi-religious, multi-ethnic<br />

and multi-linguistic from time immemorial.<br />

The spirit of multiculturalism<br />

without any bias to religion or sect,<br />

has kept India united in diversity,<br />

which is the soul of India. He encouraged<br />

the gathering to do their best and<br />

serve as a bridge between India and<br />

Britain in commerce, trade and higher<br />

education.<br />

The speeches were followed by an<br />

array of cultural programmes.<br />

Performers from Tanushree, Atreyee<br />

and Chitralekha dance group added<br />

colour and vigour to the evening by<br />

performing Indian traditional folk and<br />

classical dances. The message of patriotism<br />

was conveyed through poems by<br />

an Urdu poet and members of<br />

Geetanjali Multilingual Literary Circle.<br />

Singer and composer of music Jasbir<br />

Wouhra sang songs which inspired<br />

patriotism among those present.<br />

Thereafter, Consul General Dr.<br />

Aman Puri, honoured Mr. Paul<br />

Sabapathy, Former Lord Lieutenant of<br />

West Midlands for his outstanding<br />

contribution towards cohesion of the<br />

Indian and British communities in the<br />

United Kingdom. He also felicitated<br />

Ms. Piali Rai, Director, Sampad South<br />

Asian Arts and Mr. Jas Wouhra,<br />

Managing Director, East End Foods<br />

Plc. The event concluded with the<br />

singing of National Anthem.<br />

Indeed, it was a day of elation, a day<br />

of remembrance of the freedom fighters,<br />

a day to cherish and respect the very<br />

gift of freedom. The world is going<br />

through uncertain times in many parts,<br />

and the geo-politics is getting ever more<br />

complex. It is time for nations to again<br />

stand together, and respect every<br />

nation’s right to be sovereign, and to<br />

promote peace in the world.

4 <strong>September</strong> <strong>2018</strong><br />


www.theasianindependent.co.uk<br />

Stateless children–Right to<br />

register as British citizens<br />

It has been confirmed by the recent<br />

decision of the High Court (MK (A<br />


FRIEND CAE) V SSHD [2017]<br />

EWHC 1365 THAT Stateless children<br />

born in the UK have a right to<br />

register as British citizens after living<br />

here for a continuous period of five<br />

years.<br />

The case involved a child (MK)<br />

born in the UK in November 2010.<br />

Her parents were both nationals of<br />

India. MK had made an application<br />

for registration as a British citizen<br />

under Schedule 2 of the British<br />

Nationality Act 1981. Under Schedule<br />

2 of the British Nationality Act 1981,<br />

a child or young person born in the<br />

UK can be registered as a British citizen<br />

if he or she:<br />

is and has always been stateless<br />

was under the age of 22 on the date<br />

of the application<br />

has lived in the UK 5 years prior to<br />

the making of the application.<br />

The Home Office refused the application<br />

and judicial review proceedings<br />

were commenced. There were some<br />

difficulties in relation to evidence,<br />

particularly relating to Indian law and<br />

the interpretation and practice of that<br />

law. However, the high court decided<br />

that MK was entitled to register<br />

as a British citizen as<br />

she was and is stateless as<br />

she does not have Indian<br />

nationality.<br />

This case will be important<br />

for those children who<br />

are born in the UK, are<br />

stateless and are making an<br />

application in the same or<br />

similar circumstances. It has<br />

reiterated by this case that<br />

stateless children born in the<br />

UK have a right to register<br />

as British citizens after living<br />

here for a continuous<br />

period of five years.<br />

To register under paragraph 3 of<br />

Schedule 2 to the British Nationality<br />

Act 1981 a stateless person must meet<br />

four conditions. She or he must be<br />

born in the UK; have always been<br />

stateless; be under the age of 22 and<br />

living in the UK at the time of applying<br />

to register; and at the date of application<br />

have spent the last five years<br />

living in the UK (with no more than<br />

450 days absence during this period<br />

unless ‘special circumstances’ are<br />

shown).<br />

An applicant will also need to show<br />

he or she is stateless. Home Office<br />

guidance indicates decision-makers<br />

will want to see letters from the<br />

national authorities of each parent<br />

confirming the child or young person<br />

is not and has never held their nationality.<br />

The Home Office also expects<br />

evidence that applicants have been<br />

living in the UK for the past five years<br />

and without excessive absences –<br />

even though their statelessness<br />

make it less<br />

likely someone could<br />

have left the country.<br />

The right to register<br />

under paragraph 3 of<br />

Schedule 2 is time limited.<br />

Once the child<br />

turns 22, if no application<br />

has been made this<br />

right is lost forever.<br />

There is generally no<br />

good reason to delay<br />

registration where a<br />

child has and wishes to<br />

exercise her or his right<br />

to do so if the conditions<br />

of paragraph 3 are met.<br />

Should a stateless person miss the<br />

opportunity to register by turning 22,<br />

section 1(4) of the 1981 Act may provide<br />

an alternative. It provides a right<br />

to register as British to those born in<br />

the UK, who live here for the first ten<br />

years of their lives. There is no age<br />

cut-off by when this right must be<br />

exercised. However, an applicant<br />

under section 1(4) must be of good<br />

character whereas an applicant under<br />

paragraph 3 need not.<br />

To apply for British Nationally is<br />

really expensive. Currently, the fee<br />

for a child to register as British is<br />

£973. The home office is making hundreds<br />

of pounds above cost each time<br />

a child or young person seeks to register<br />

their right. The Home Office offers<br />

no waiver or exemptions. The legal<br />

aid is not available for advice and<br />

assistance on these registration applications<br />

(unless exceptional case funding<br />

is granted). The applicants need<br />

specialist legal help to recognise their<br />

entitlement, identify the evidence<br />

required, instruct experts where necessary<br />

(an expert may be necessary to<br />

show a child does not have her or his<br />

parent’s nationality) and prepare an<br />

application.<br />

I will be more than happy to provide<br />

all necessary information and<br />

legal help if you need to apply for<br />

your child.<br />

Ajay Aggarwal, Solicitor<br />

Moblie; 07727 688 291

www.theasianindependent.co.uk<br />


<strong>September</strong> <strong>2018</strong><br />

5<br />

Hindus, Sikhs and BJP in nexus to<br />

repeal British Caste Legislation<br />

Good Evening everyone. Greetings<br />

to you all on the occasion of Indian<br />

Independence Day. I am not anti Indian.<br />

I wish the Indian people every happiness,<br />

good health, prosperity and<br />

wealth.<br />

Its on occasions like this that we take<br />

a few moments to reflect on what is<br />

happening in India today. There is no<br />

doubt independence deserves to be celebrated<br />

but there is a darker side that<br />

Independent India has not lived up to<br />

the dreams of its founding fathers.<br />

Blame game<br />

It is argued that 71 years is not long<br />

enough for a young democracy to<br />

resolve all its problems. All the ills are<br />

blamed on the British, if not the British<br />

then the Muslims, if not the Muslims<br />

then religious minorities and then Dalits<br />

– the scheduled Castes and Scheduled<br />

Tribes who number over 250 million<br />

people. Not much is said about taking<br />

personal responsibility. It is always the<br />

other that is blamed.<br />

Ideological Shift<br />

There is a shift towards right wing<br />

politics the world over accentuated by<br />

the election of the US president Donald<br />

Trump. India had already led the charge,<br />

on a national scale, towards right wing<br />

politics since the election of the BJP<br />

government in 2014. This lurch towards<br />

the right is also seen in Britain when the<br />

country voted to leave the European<br />

union. Clever politicians play into the<br />

fears and prejudices of people and try to<br />

befool and beguile the masses into a<br />

false sense of security. This lurch<br />

towards right-wing politics must be<br />

resisted as it threatens progressive and<br />

liberal values built over centuries.<br />

Indian constitution burned<br />

A strange event occurred on 9th<br />

August <strong>2018</strong>, in India at Jantar Mantar<br />

New Delhi when the Indian constitution<br />

was burned. I say strange because, firstly,<br />

the holding of the event was given<br />

clearance by the police and secondly,<br />

the Indian constitution was burned<br />

whilst the police were present at the<br />

scene.<br />

When burning the constitution, the<br />

Organisers were yelling slogans like :<br />

Savidhan jalao, desh bachao !<br />

Ambedkar Murda Bad ! Manuvad<br />

Zindabad ! SC /ST Act murda bad<br />

Not until a FIR was filed against the<br />

mob, with video evidence, that the<br />

police took notice and swung into action<br />

resulting in the arrest of two people as<br />

reprted by the media.<br />

The video showed 20-30 people (perhaps<br />

more) directly engaged in sloganising<br />

and burning the Indian constitution.<br />

The entire mob should have been<br />

charged and arrested under the<br />

Prevention of National Honour Act<br />

1971 which states that whoever in any<br />

public place or in any other place within<br />

public view burns, mutilates, defaces,<br />

defiles, disfigures, destroys, tramples<br />

upon or otherwise shows disrespect to<br />

or brings into contempt the Indian<br />

National Flag or the constitution of<br />

India or any part thereof shall be punished<br />

with imprisonment for a term<br />

which may extend to 3 years or with<br />

fine or both.<br />

During their probe, police found that<br />

two organisations — Youth Equality<br />

Foundation (Azad Sena) and Arakshan<br />

Virodhi Party held the protest at<br />

Parliament Street.<br />

No senior ranking politician of the<br />

BJP led government has condemned the<br />

burning of the Indian constitution.<br />

Mainstream Television channels have<br />

not condemned the incident and have<br />

moslt stayed silent. The dilution of the<br />

SC/ST Act by Justices AK Goel and UU<br />

Lalit caused a nationwide protest which<br />

has now resulted in the restoration of<br />

the SC/ST act by a recent vote in the<br />

Indian Parliament<br />

The burning of the Indian constitution<br />

came in the wake of the Indian<br />

Parliament passing that Bill to restore<br />

the SC/ST act on Thursday 9th August.<br />

You will recall , way back in December<br />

28, 2017, Union Minister Anant Kumar<br />

Hegde reportedly said that “Today, we<br />

follow Ambedkar ‘smriti’… it will<br />

change in the future. We are here to<br />

change the Constitution.” He later withdrew<br />

his remarks accusing the media of<br />

‘twisting’ his comments!<br />

So what do we see in India today<br />

under the present BJP-led<br />

Government<br />

In India Mob lynching has been<br />

taken to a whole new dimension. The<br />

cow is sacred but not human life. In the<br />

name of Gau-Rakshak, mobs are free to<br />

roam around to kill with impunity. I<br />

wish to share with you that during the<br />

Vedic period, the cow was ceremoniously<br />

slaughtered and offered in a sacrifice<br />

to the gods. No god came down to<br />

earth to consume the slaughtered cow<br />

but humans assumed the role of god,<br />

namely Brahmins who called themselves<br />

bhudevas to consume the slaughtered<br />

cow.<br />

Today, emboldened by the BJP in<br />

power, the rise of Hindutva ideology is<br />

threatening the social fabric of India<br />

with its escalation of attacks on religious<br />

minorities and Dalits in particular. This<br />

emboldened ideology is antinational.<br />

? Hindutva forces continue to<br />

unleash violent reign of terror and<br />

repression on Dalits, Muslims and<br />

other minorities.<br />

The president of India , Shri Ram<br />

Nath Kovind in his Independence day<br />

speech said that Gandhiji’s most noble<br />

mantra was to point out that the power<br />

of ahinsa is far greater than the power of<br />

hinsa.<br />

Unfortunately this mantra clearly has<br />

had no effect on the masses and those in<br />

power , especially Dalits and religious<br />

minorities continue to suffer violence.<br />

? According to the NCRB data. A<br />

total of 40,801 cases of crime against<br />

scheduled castes were registered in the<br />

country in 2015 compared to 38,670<br />

cases in 2015.<br />

? In 2016, the rate of crime against<br />

scheduled castes of total cognisable<br />

crimes in Madhya Pradesh was 43.4 per<br />

cent followed by 42 per cent in<br />

Rajasthan, 36.7 per cent in Goa, 34.4<br />

per cent in Bihar and 32.5 per cent in<br />

Gujarat. The all-India crime rate against<br />

scheduled castes was 20.6 per cent last<br />

year.<br />

What is the main cause of poverty<br />

in India?<br />

High population growth rate is one of<br />

major reasons of poverty in India. This<br />

further leads to high level of illiteracy,<br />

poor health care facilities and lack of<br />

Sat Pal Muman , Chair of<br />

CasteWatchUK, delivered a<br />

speech at the School of Oriental<br />

and African Studies, London on<br />

Indian Independence day, 15th<br />

August <strong>2018</strong>.<br />

access to financial resources. … Caste<br />

system and unequal distribution of<br />

income and resources is another reason<br />

of poverty in India as acknowledged by<br />

economists.<br />

Dr Ambedkar : Political and<br />

Communal Majorities<br />

Ambedkar said what’s the point in<br />

getting political freedom from the<br />

British only to continue in slavery under<br />

the caste Hindus. He demanded political<br />

safeguards for the Untouchables as he<br />

felt they would continue to be crushed<br />

by the Caste Hindus.<br />

During his early career, he tried to<br />

stir the conscious of the Caste Hindus to<br />

introspect about their religion. He wanted<br />

to transform Hindu Society. But to no<br />

avail.<br />

He then turned to the British as the<br />

sovereign authority to grant special protection<br />

for his people. His power of persuasion<br />

convinced the British that<br />

Untouchables are special case so<br />

deserve special protection in terms of<br />

political representation and social<br />

development. Congress Party under the<br />

leadership of Gandhi opposed the<br />

demands of the Untouchables. Gandhi<br />

went onto fast unto death on Sep 16,<br />

1932 resisting the political demands of<br />

the Untouchables.<br />

Gandhi conducted 17 fasts during his<br />

lifetime . None of them were fasts unto<br />

death apart from when Dr Ambedkar<br />

won over the British to grant separate<br />

electorates to the Untouchables.<br />

Despite universal suffrage granted as<br />

per the constitution, Dr Ambedkar continued<br />

to feel helpless for his people<br />

being able to exercise their vote effectively<br />

as they were too poor and illiterate.<br />

He started newspapers and established<br />

colleges to educate them.<br />

He demanded separate settlements for<br />

the Untouchables and also at one time<br />

out of desperation he recommended to<br />

the Untouchables they should migrate to<br />

foreign lands to escape the curse of Caste<br />

and Untouchability – subject I will return<br />

to later.<br />

On political and communal majority,<br />

Dr Ambedkar said, Majorities are of two<br />

sorts:<br />

(1) communal majority and<br />

(2) political majority.<br />

A political majority is changeable in<br />

its class composition. A political majority<br />

grows. A communal majority is born.<br />

The admission to a political majority is<br />

open. The door to a communal majority<br />

is closed. The politics of political majority<br />

are free to all to make and unmake.<br />

The politics of communal majority are<br />

made by its own members born in it.<br />

Today, Caste and Religion continue<br />

to dominate political discourse India.<br />

In August, 2016, the Gujarat<br />

Government withdrew a schoolbook on<br />

Ambedkar because it contained the<br />

oaths Dr Ambedkar which he had prescribed<br />

when he denounce Hinduism to<br />

embrace Buddhism in 1956.<br />

India’s darkest hour<br />

You will recall that 49 ex IAS officers<br />

wrote o the Prime Minister of India in<br />

the backdrop of Unnao and Kathua rape<br />

cases and called it India’s darkest hour.<br />

It was also reported that over 600 academics<br />

and institutions also wrote to the<br />

Indian PM expressing deep concern over<br />

the escalation of rapes and murders.<br />

Under the guise of developmental<br />

agenda the country is sliding towards<br />

dictatorship which is undermining and<br />

threatening the social fabric. This internal<br />

threat is far severe then any threat<br />

from external aggression. The very core<br />

of Indian polity is being torn to pieces<br />

by the policies of the BJP led government<br />

whether this be in the sphere of<br />

social welfare, education, human rights,<br />

law and order , judiciary.<br />

You will recall, there was an application<br />

filed for the impeachment of the<br />

Chief Justice of India . An event<br />

unprecedented.<br />

According to a recent NDTV survey,<br />

political hate speech has risen 500 %.<br />

Attacks on Dalits and religious minorities<br />

have escalated.<br />

After the Bhima Koregaon incident<br />

tens of thousands were falsely arrested.<br />

After the recent Bharat Bandh on 2nd<br />

April inflamed by the supreme court<br />

judgment that diluted the SC/ST<br />

Atrocities act , thousands were falsely<br />

arrested and charged and imprisoned.<br />

Today, Dalits are rising to assert their<br />

Social , Political and Human Rights as<br />

guaranteed by the Indian Constitution –<br />

values that are a direct challenge to<br />

BJP-RSS hegemony and the rise of<br />

Hindutva ideology who want to impose<br />

the manusmirti upon the people of<br />

India.<br />

In his book Pakistan or partition of<br />

India (1946 pages 354-355) , Dr<br />

Ambedkar writes that<br />

If a Hindu Raj does become a fact, it<br />

will, no doubt be the greatest calamity<br />

for this country … Hindu Raj must be<br />

prevented at any cost<br />

Ambedkar wrote in a memorandum<br />

on the Rights of States and Minorities<br />

dated March 24 1947 which he submitted<br />

to the sub-committee on<br />

Fundamental Rights, he wrote,<br />

Unfortunately for the minorities in<br />

India, Indian nationalism has developed<br />

a new doctrine which may be called the<br />

Divine Right of the majority to rule the<br />

minorities according to the wishes of<br />

the majority. Any claim for the sharing<br />

of power the minority is called communalism,<br />

while the monopolising of the<br />

whole power the majority is called<br />

nationalism.<br />

Later in the constituent assembly<br />

defending the special status of the<br />

minorities he forewarned<br />

To diehards who have developed a<br />

kind of fanaticism against minority protection,<br />

I would like to say two things.<br />

One is that minorities are an explosive<br />

force which if it erupts, can blow up the<br />

whole fabric of the state. The history of<br />

Europe bears ample and appalling testimony<br />

to this fact. The other is that<br />

minorities in India have agreed to place<br />

their existence in the hands of the<br />

majority… it is for the majority to<br />

realise its duty not to discriminate<br />

against minorities..’<br />

Ambedkar warned that there is danger<br />

of democracy giving place to dictatorship<br />

in India.<br />

Caste Legislation<br />

I will now return briefly to my earlier<br />

comment citing Dr Ambedkar’s<br />

advise to the Untouchables to escape the<br />

curse of Caste and Untouchability they<br />

should migrate to foreign lands<br />

Most of you will be aware that<br />

CasteWatchUK began a campaign in<br />

2003 to outlaw caste based discrimination<br />

in Britain which the British<br />

acknowledged does exist.<br />

After a long fought campaign the<br />

British Government caved into pressure<br />

from Hindus and Sikhs and announced<br />

on 23rd July <strong>2018</strong>, it will not be implementing<br />

the caste law as envisaged by<br />

Equality Act 2010 Section 9(5) but<br />

instead the government will now be taking<br />

steps to repeal the Caste provision.<br />

The government ran a public consultation<br />

from 28 March 2017 to 18<br />

<strong>September</strong> 2017.<br />

Of the 16,138 consultation responses,<br />

analysis indicated that:<br />

• 8,513 respondents were ‘in favour<br />

of relying on case-law’; • 2,885 respondents<br />

were ‘in favour of legislation’; •<br />

3,588 respondents rejected both<br />

options; • 1,113 respondents were ‘not<br />

sure’ which was the better option; • 1<br />

respondent was in favour of either<br />

option; and British Government says<br />

that a separate Caste provision is not<br />

required and suggest caste could be covered<br />

by an existing ethnic origins provision.<br />

This means reliance is placed on<br />

case law to develop. This means the victims<br />

will have to go through expensive<br />

long drawn legal battle to get justice.<br />

This alone is a massive deterrent for<br />

victims to seek justice to the delight of<br />

offenders who can continue to abuse<br />

and harass people on the basis of caste.<br />

In a press release , I said that :<br />

Government has not lived up to its bold<br />

commitment ‘that no one should suffer<br />

prejudice or discrimination on any<br />

grounds , including any perception of<br />

their caste’ and sold out to the opposing<br />

side, no doubt for political reasons with<br />

an eye on Hindu and Sikh votes , a section<br />

amongst them were the main antagonists.<br />

No doubt Government also had an eye on<br />

trade and commercial overseas interests.<br />

The National Council of Hindu<br />

Temples stated that it ‘ welcomes the<br />

Governments conclusion and the proposed<br />

course of action, regarding the<br />

issue of “Caste Discrimination”<br />

Legislation’ The NCHT stated that ‘ we<br />

established links with the Sikh and Jan<br />

communities and working very closely<br />

with the HFB, amongst other groups<br />

and together managed to encourage<br />

over 8,000 British Hindus to respond.’<br />

See on Page 8th

6 <strong>September</strong> <strong>2018</strong><br />

ASIA<br />

www.theasianindependent.co.uk<br />

Indian crew capsule<br />

star attraction at<br />

Bengaluru space expo<br />

Bengaluru : The Indian space agency’s crew The recovered capsule, made of heat protecting tiles,<br />

module, that was used and recovered in a 2014<br />

unmanned mission, has been a star attraction at the<br />

6th Bengaluru Space Expo being held here.<br />

“An unmanned crew capsule that can accommodate<br />

up to three astronauts<br />

that was tested in 2014 to<br />

orbit around the Earth has<br />

been exhibited at the space<br />

expo for visitors to view,”<br />

an Indian Space Research<br />

Organisation (ISRO) official<br />

was launched aboard a Geosynchronous Satellite<br />

Launch Vehicle (GSLV) Mk III to re-enter the planet<br />

— surviving temperatures as high as 1,500<br />

degrees Celsius. The exhibition has also featured<br />

pavilions dedicated to student-made<br />

satellites and<br />

launchers, space start-ups<br />

from across the country,<br />

and space agencies from<br />

countries including Russia,<br />

France and Taiwan.<br />

told IANS here.<br />

The French National<br />

A similar capsule, which<br />

Centre for Space Studies<br />

is a living space and control<br />

(CNES), Russian space<br />

centre for astronauts, will<br />

agency’s launch service<br />

carry Indians to space for<br />

provider Glavkosmos and<br />

the country’s maiden<br />

Taiwan’s National Space<br />

human space mission “Gaganyaan”. Showcased in<br />

the space agency’s pavilion, the capsule has been the<br />

cynosure of all eyes at the three-day space expo at the<br />

Bengaluru International Exhibition Centre.<br />

Hundreds of school students and other visitors,<br />

making a beeline to the venue, are thronging the<br />

pavilion for a glimpse of the crew module and a<br />

model of Indian-made spacesuit that will be donned<br />

by the country’s astronauts for their space mission.<br />

Organisation (NSPO) were among the space agencies<br />

that showcased the satellites and launchers. Space food<br />

packed for Russian cosmonauts put on display by the<br />

Glavkosmos also caught the visitors’ attention. The<br />

biennial space expo, touted to be the largest space conference<br />

in Asia, is being held from <strong>September</strong> 6-8, with<br />

the participation of over 100 exhibitors, space agency<br />

representatives and delegates from the US, the UK,<br />

France, Russia, and Taiwan, among other countries.<br />

Fuel prices register steepest<br />

daily hike, up 50 paise/litre<br />

New Delhi : Domestic fuel prices witnessed<br />

the steepest hike in the year so far with around<br />

50-paise raise on Friday across the four metro<br />

cities. Both petrol and diesel prices have been at<br />

their all-time high in the country for around a<br />

week now, due to increase in crude oil prices<br />

and depreciation in the rupee against the dollar.<br />

Weakening of the Indian rupee makes the import<br />

of crude oil expensive. In the national capital,<br />

petrol prices rose by 48 paise to Rs 79.99 per<br />

litre on Friday, from Rs 79.51 per litre on<br />

Thursday, according to data on the Indian Oil<br />

Corporation’s website. Similarly, in the other<br />

key cities of Kolkata,<br />

Mumbai and Chennai,<br />

cost of petrol rose by<br />

47 paise, 48 paise and<br />

51 paise to Rs 82.88,<br />

Rs 87.39 and Rs 83.13<br />

per litre on Friday,<br />

respectively. Among<br />

the domestic factors,<br />

high excise duty in the<br />

country is a major factor<br />

for high fuel<br />

prices, according to<br />

market observers.<br />

In tandem with<br />

petrol prices, cost of<br />

the other key transportation<br />

fuel, diesel,<br />

also increased on<br />

Friday. In fact, the rise in diesel prices was<br />

above 50 paise per litre across the four major<br />

cities.<br />

Both in Delhi and Kolkata, diesel prices rose<br />

by 52 paise to 72.07 and Rs 74.92 per litre<br />

respectively. In the other metropolitan cities of<br />

Mumbai and Chennai, it was up 55 paise and 56<br />

paise respectively, at Rs 76.51 and Rs 76.17 per<br />

litre on Friday. The rise in diesel prices attract<br />

concern as the fuel is used in the transportation<br />

of goods including agriculture products and high<br />

prices of the fuel may lead to higher inflation in<br />

the country.

www.theasianindependent.co.uk<br />

What the Celebration of<br />

Asian Games Medalists Tells<br />

Us About Indian Society<br />

In the just concluded Asian<br />

Games at Jakarta-Palembang,<br />

India finished eighth with their<br />

best ever medals tally. This<br />

should be lauded. What is worrying,<br />

however, is the focus on<br />

some athletes who come from<br />

humble backgrounds and<br />

achieved what was considered<br />

impossible for their social<br />

class, because of the absence of<br />

training, equipment and other<br />

requirements necessary for<br />

achieving excellence in sports.<br />

The internet has been alight<br />

with stories of athletes like<br />

By<br />

Shah Alam Khan<br />

Swapna Barman, Dharun<br />

Ayyasamy, Hima Das, Vismaya<br />

Velluva Koroth and Dutee<br />

Chand, enumerating the hardships<br />

they faced, the poverty<br />

they fought and yet pursued<br />

their dream of making it big on<br />

the international sports scene.<br />

These star performers overcoming<br />

social stockades is<br />

nothing less than a miracle,<br />

more so in a country which<br />

thrives on inequality and biases<br />

of caste and class. We should<br />

all put our hands together and<br />

give them a standing ovation.<br />

Having said this, appreciation<br />

of overcoming social misfortune<br />

by some athletes – as is<br />

visible in conventional and<br />

social media – needs deeper<br />

evaluation. As a member of<br />

civil society, this applause for<br />

the disadvantaged makes me<br />

worried, if not derisive. In his<br />

book, Racism and White<br />

Denial in the Age of Obama,<br />

American thinker Tim Wise<br />

coined a term, “enlightened<br />

exceptionalism”. The book,<br />

written soon after Obama had<br />

just been elected as the first<br />

black president of the US, Wise<br />

says this ‘enlightened exceptionalism’<br />

is in itself a kind of<br />

racism (Racism 2.0). This type<br />

of racism allows for and even<br />

celebrates individual persons of<br />

color, but only because those<br />

individuals generally are seen<br />

as different from a less appealing,<br />

or even pathological black<br />

or brown rule. He feels that<br />

“enlightened exceptionalism<br />

manages to accommodate individual<br />

people of color, even as<br />

it continues to look down upon<br />

the larger mass of black and<br />

brown America with suspicion,<br />

fear, and contempt, suggests<br />

the fluid and shape-shifting<br />

nature of racism.”<br />

Applying the same logic of<br />

enlightened exceptionalism and<br />

of shape-shifting racism to the<br />

Indian society, we can explain<br />

the appreciation of many<br />

stereotypes which are thrown<br />

upon us year after year. Every<br />

year, we are made to feel awed<br />

at stories of people from humble<br />

and disadvantaged backgrounds<br />

making it big on the<br />

national or the international<br />

Dharun Ayyasamy<br />

Swapna Barman<br />

scene. Remember the Dalit girl<br />

who topped the civil services<br />

exams? Or the daughter of that<br />

ragpicker who made it to IIM?<br />

The young Kashmiri girl who<br />

made it big in kickboxing? That<br />

blind boy who made it to the<br />

medical entrance exams? In the<br />

same vein, underprivileged athletes<br />

who made the country<br />

proud at the Asian Games <strong>2018</strong>!<br />

The enlightened ‘exceptionalists’<br />

of Wise are plenty in<br />

India, probably because the<br />

fault lines of the Indian society<br />

are far larger and deeper than in<br />

America. Our social chasms<br />

intersect at multiple points and<br />

each point needs a new icon<br />

from the amongst the poor,<br />

minorities, schedule tribes,<br />

Dalits and women to lessen our<br />

guilt of having failed them<br />

through the years.<br />

The privileges of caste, capital<br />

and religion in India outweigh<br />

an individual’s efforts and<br />

hence, when somebody can<br />

overcome these to shine, be it<br />

sports, education, profession, or<br />

politics, we are quick to applaud.<br />

This applause is not for the<br />

group to which the person<br />

belongs. That group still remains<br />

an unworthy entity. It is only for<br />

the individual who could fight<br />

his/her way up from the depths<br />

in which that group survives.<br />

Those appreciating the<br />

‘exceptionalists’ are indifferent<br />

towards the fate of Dalits,<br />

Hima Das<br />

minorities or disabled. So while<br />

appreciating the Dalit civil<br />

services topper, the privileged<br />

do not feel the need to contribute<br />

towards providing equal<br />

opportunities for Dalits. On the<br />

contrary, there is a constant bid<br />

to thwart efforts towards inclusiveness<br />

(remember that antireservation<br />

rhetoric we constantly<br />

hear?). Similarly, while<br />

appreciating the kickboxing<br />

champion from Kashmir, houses<br />

are denied to Kashmiris in<br />

Delhi. The fear and contempt<br />

for Kashmiri Muslims thrives<br />

unabated. Such is the case with<br />

all those bright stars of a dark<br />

sky, who are picked up from<br />

among the ruble of the<br />

wretched and are put in a glass<br />

showcase as a measure of civility.<br />

There can’t be a more hypocritical<br />

position than this.<br />

Appreciation of well-performing<br />

individuals, whichever<br />

strata of society they come<br />

from, is not unwarranted.<br />

Appreciation of those who have<br />

defeated biases of the society is<br />

also justified, but it fails us<br />

when we look down upon the<br />

very group this individual hails<br />

from. So should we stop<br />

applauding those who have<br />

overcome the hardships of their<br />

fate and excelled? Not at all.<br />

What is required is not picking<br />

up individuals as stars from a<br />

deprived group. The solution<br />

lies in ending the exception.<br />

ASIA<br />

<strong>September</strong> <strong>2018</strong><br />

7<br />

Isuzu rolls out 2 mini-trucks for south<br />

Indian market story for biz news<br />

Bengaluru : Leading transport<br />

solutions provider SML-<br />

Isuzu on Friday rolled out two<br />

models of mini-trucks for the<br />

south Indian market.<br />

“Our new twin light commercial<br />

vehicles (LCVs) offer<br />

fuel efficiency, more driver<br />

comfort, higher uptime, minimum<br />

maintenance cost and<br />

optimum loading capacity,”<br />

Isuzu Vice-President (marketing)<br />

Junji Tonoshima told<br />

reporters here. The Chandigarhbased<br />

35-year-old joint venture<br />

between Swaraj Vehicles Ltd<br />

and Mazda Motor Corporation<br />

of Japan makes a range of LCV<br />

and ICV (intermediate commercial<br />

vehicle) trucks and buses<br />

and special application vehicles<br />

for meeting the growing needs<br />

of the growing transportation<br />

sector across the country. “We<br />

have introduced the 7-tonne<br />

mini-trucks to meet the changing<br />

customer needs, with upgradation<br />

and automation,” said<br />

Tonoshima at a preview of the<br />

twin models. The super heavy<br />

duty trucks aSamrat-17 and<br />

aSamrat-19' are priced at Rs 14<br />

lakh and Rs 17 lakh respectively,<br />

with additional features and<br />

accessories.<br />

The company also unveiled<br />

advanced telematics solution to<br />

revolutionise transportation<br />

management and 24×7 on road<br />

service support to its customers<br />

in southern India. The cabins<br />

have USB port for mobile<br />

charging, more leg room for the<br />

drivers, lighter clutch for<br />

smooth gearshift and real-time<br />

tracking device for the owners.<br />

Mazda’s associate trading<br />

house Sumitomo Corporation<br />

joined the company subsequently,<br />

buying an unspecified<br />

equity into the joint<br />

venture./Eom/215 words.

8 <strong>September</strong> <strong>2018</strong><br />

ASIA<br />

www.theasianindependent.co.uk<br />

Where is Baba Ramdev Ji?<br />

I know well in<br />

Mishra who emphasized,<br />

advance that the followers<br />

Hinduvta ideolo-<br />

of Baba Ramdev<br />

gy is anti-modern,<br />

would not like this piece<br />

of writing. I also know<br />

that there would be a<br />

strong criticism and disapproval<br />

authoritarian, far right<br />

and sometimes farleft,anti-globalist<br />

and<br />

anti-Enlightenment<br />

by the Baba`s<br />

trend haunting the<br />

loyalists. People will<br />

world two centuries.<br />

blame me as if I am writing<br />

Every flagship<br />

like a party man. I am<br />

scheme of Modi gov-<br />

a political man. Rather I<br />

ernment such as<br />

am a common man who<br />

is struggling to save the<br />

remaining years of life<br />

and future of the children.<br />

My heart bleeds<br />

for my country; for the<br />

unemployed youths; for<br />

the defenseless innocent<br />

Startup India, Standup<br />

India, Mudra, Skill<br />

India failed but Baba<br />

Ramdev is completely<br />

silent. Demonetization<br />

and GST have made<br />

the SMEs suffocated,<br />

Baba Ramdev is silent.<br />

girls and women who are<br />

Baba<br />

According to ET, ‘the<br />

raped every day; for the<br />

Ramdev `s silence<br />

leather industry in<br />

wealth of the nation that is being reality is that<br />

on all the issues raised in<br />

of December 2016. Bengal has collapsed, closure of 12<br />

usurped by the nexus of abominable Patanjali<br />

this article reflects that Baba<br />

Income Tax lakh power looms in Maharashtra<br />

politicians and fake Babas`. imports its<br />

Ramdev was/ is not a friend of<br />

department discovered<br />

undis-<br />

homes in Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, and<br />

had led to workers returning to their<br />

Through this article, I want the equipment’s<br />

the poor, marginalized. The people<br />

people of India should ponder and from the<br />

of this country should not get trapped<br />

closed income Telangana’. Thanks to the social<br />

seek an answer from Baba Ramdev West. It is<br />

by Baba Ramdev and his associates<br />

of Rs 17, 526 activists and genuine lover of India<br />

to the questions such as: Where is also getting<br />

who are bracing up for 2019 elections<br />

Crores between who protested against<br />

the black money? Where is 15 food manufacturing<br />

and<br />

with renewed fake promises to get<br />

November 2016 ‘Saffronisation of academic bodies,<br />

Lakh? Are the criminal politicians<br />

Modi re-elected. Baba Ramdev<br />

& end –May research councils, and textbooks.<br />

behind bars? Is Ganga cleaned? Are packaging<br />

will again come to your<br />

2017. On this The goons of RSS and other Hindu<br />

all the villages of India electrified? technology<br />

doorstep for asking the votes<br />

former RBI outfits left no stone unturned to<br />

The election funding? How many from Italy and<br />

for Modi. Be careful!<br />

G o v e r n o r impose Hindutva ideology on every<br />

socially and economically marginalized<br />

people are uplifted out of shows that Patanjali<br />

August 11, 2014, stated: Modi could not diagnose all the<br />

Switzerland. Data<br />

Raghuram Rajan on citizen of India.<br />

poverty by the Modi government? imports cosmetics body<br />

“The crooked politicians socio-economic ills of the country<br />

All these promises were made by cleaner from the UK, Cow Ghee need the businessman to provide the since he is more interested in foreign<br />

Modi government before 2014 elections<br />

and Baba Ramdev is a party to Handwash from the USA. Is this needs the crooked politicians to get could not diagnose all the socio-eco-<br />

from New Caledonia, Lotion and funds… The crooked businessman countries than his own country. Modi<br />

these fake promises.<br />

“Make in India” by Baba Ramdev? public resources and contracts nomic ills since he and his party leaders<br />

are busy in killing the Muslims<br />

Baba Ramdev, a maverick Yoga The NDA government under the cheaply”.<br />

Guru, a great supporter and admirer malignant, narcissistic Prime The socio-economic and caste and Dalits. Not a single promise<br />

of an elected despot Narendra Modi, Minister Modi is close to finishing 5 census revealed that 56% rural made by Modi and Baba Ramdev is<br />

Prime Minister of India got unparalleled<br />

social popularity among the Ramdev is silent on all the questions primarily on manual Labour to surtinues,<br />

unaccounted wealth flour-<br />

years term in office but Baba household own no land, and depend fulfilled in four years. Terrorism con-<br />

illiterate masses and political leaders raised. Baba Ramdev is silent over vive. A survey in 2014 across 42, ished, India is the most corrupt country<br />

(Transparency International<br />

that his a small pharmacy, Patanjali, when Muslims and Dalits are killed 000 households across India by the<br />

established in 2007 grown over 10 in the daylight by the shameless, National Council of Applied Report), Chinese and Indian soldiers<br />

times to $ 5,000 in 2015-16. envious, haughty and ignorant goons Economic Research and the stared eyeball to eyeball in Doklam.<br />

Patanjali, no doubt, shook the walls of RSS/Ram Sena/ VHP and other University of Maryland found that Modi displays no foreign policy<br />

of corporate Moguls such as Emami, Hindu militant outfits. Statistics one in four Indians<br />

except pleasing the world leaders and<br />

Dabur, and Marico. Baba Ramdev revealed that in the last past 100 Rahul Bali<br />

hugging them to show that he has<br />

with the help of the corrupt and despicable<br />

politicians and vile bureau-<br />

India while cleaning sewers. the Asian Independent, UK<br />

and RSS leaders are busy in foisting<br />

days, 39 people had died across Senior Correspondent,<br />

elevated the image of India. Modi<br />

crats of India succeeded in striking a Shameful Beef lynching by the<br />

sedition charges on the dissenters.<br />

nail in the business of Nestle India goons of Ram Sena and other Hindu admitted to practicing<br />

Dr. Ambedkar told the<br />

causing a whopping financial loss to outfits brought a bad name to the some form of untouchability.<br />

Baba Ramdev never spoke a religion may be a road to the salva-<br />

Constituent Assembly: “Bhakti in<br />

the company to the tune of Rs.450 country. Such shameful people are<br />

crore as it destroyed more than eroding democratic norms, principles<br />

& institutions. Their shameful untouchability.<br />

Bhakti or hero-worship, is a sure<br />

word against the practices of tion of the soul. But in politics<br />

30,000 tonnes of Maggi. As economics<br />

tells us that a business cannot<br />

flourish for a long time if it is the country on the international plat-<br />

schools, Aligarh in Uttar Pradesh dictatorship”. Similarly, an eminent<br />

acts every day brings a bad name to Hindu Jagran Manch warned road to degradation and to eventual<br />

motivated merely by the dirty politics.<br />

In his statement on dirty politics BJP ruled states, eat beef openly. Priest and seminarians are regularly that the cult of Narendra Modi must<br />

form. People of GOA, Nagaland, the (UP) against celebrating Christmas. historian Ramachandra Guha argued<br />

of Baba Ramdev, Kejriwal Amit Baba Ramdev is silent over the Beef thrashed by Bajrang Dal activists in be challenged (and checked) before<br />

Dhanuka, CEO of Kejriwal Bee eating issue.<br />

Madhya Pradesh. In his home state it goes much further.<br />

Care India said, “It is a gimmick”. Baba Ramdev is silent over when UP, dues of sugarcane farmers Readers must be surprised why I<br />

Baba Ramdev, no doubt, knows it the rupee depreciated past 70 against soared to Rs 12,000 Crores. The 24 have used the word ‘Silent’ repeatedly<br />

in this article. Some might<br />

very well how illiterate masses can the dollar. Baba Ramdev is silent cooperatives mills too owe Rs<br />

be befooled. First, he practiced his when hundreds of thousands of 1107.09 crore. Cooking gas was argue Baba Ramdev is not a Prime<br />

market strategy by crying foul Indian soldiers are killed across the increased from Rs 93 to Rs 742 per Minister; Baba Ramdev is not a<br />

against the foreign companies from border. Baba Ramdev is silent when cylinder. Food prices escalated Chief Minister; Baba Ramdev is not<br />

the rooftop that these foreign companies<br />

are looting the wealth of the the BJP in the valley of Kashmir Girls and women from the weak-<br />

is a party to the false promises made<br />

Mehbooba Mufti`s PDP was left by beyond the reach of a common man. an administrator. But Baba Ramdev<br />

country. Patanjali is Swadeshi (of leaving behind thousands of Hindus er sections of the society are raped in during 2014 elections; Baba<br />

manufactured goods) made in India unprotected and unsafe. Baba 19 states ruled by the BJP/RSS. Ramdev is a party to hoodwink the<br />

from materials that have also been Ramdev is silent when Vijay Mallya, According to a perception poll conducted<br />

by Thomson Reuters Dear countrymen and country-<br />

innocent people of India.<br />

produced in India. The irony is that a wilful defaulter, proclaimed<br />

illiterate masses of India misunderstood<br />

Swadeshi word and somehow run away from the country with dangerous country for women to live wisdom at this time, you will repent<br />

offender and a fugitive from justice Foundation, ‘India is now the most women, if you do not exercise your<br />

by mistake appropriated this word to more than Rs 9000 crore. The in’. Baba Ramdev is silent. Mosques for another 5 years; your children<br />

‘Swadeshi<br />

Movement’ Gangotri of black money is as flowing<br />

as it was in the era of UPA II. jected to various legal and adminis-<br />

and sons will roam without mar-<br />

and Madrassas across India are sub-<br />

will roam jobless; your daughters<br />

(Independence Movement), an independence<br />

movement once launched Today, over 17% of all bank loans trative hassles designed by Hindu riage; your elderly parents will suffer<br />

without medical care. I leave all<br />

by Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi are estimated to be non-performing. militants and RSS protagonists.<br />

to boycott the British goods. The Gross NPAs stood at $6.06 trillion as Alfons Lopez Toma quoted Pankaj this to 'your thoughtful wisdom'.<br />

Continuous Page 5<br />

Hindus, Sikhs and BJP in<br />

nexus to repeal British<br />

Caste Legislation<br />

It further adds that ‘ Our thanks also go to<br />

Hon Bob Blackman MP, Chair of the APPG for<br />

British Hindus and the Hindu Parliamentarians<br />

and community leaders, who stepped forward<br />

to teach the community about Parliamentary<br />

processes and who guided and supported our<br />

forays into the arcane waters of statutory legislation.<br />

Finally on behalf of the Hindu Temples<br />

of the UK, we are grateful to PM Rt Hon<br />

Theresa May, her Government and Secretary<br />

of State Rt Hon Sajid Javid for arriving at an<br />

entirely just conclusion.’<br />

Statement from Prakash Shah, Anti Caste<br />

Legislation Committee:<br />

The government’s decision came after it<br />

consulted whether the legislation’s duty should<br />

be enacted or whether only the intervening<br />

case law, through which the courts had already<br />

read ‘caste’ into the Act’s ‘ethnic group’ provision,<br />

should be retained. In so doing, it misleadingly<br />

presented the choice as being<br />

between the two options. The source of this<br />

choice probably lies in the suggestion by<br />

prominent Hindu lawyers that the coming<br />

online of recent case should allow the legislative<br />

duty to slide. Among these are Manoj<br />

Ladwa, informally Prime Minister Modi’s<br />

attaché for British affairs who campaigned for<br />

the London Mayor’s electoral contest, and<br />

Jayesh Jotangia, who leads the secretariat for<br />

the All Party Parliamentary Group for British<br />

Hindus.<br />

The signal was given at high levels that well<br />

positioned Hindus would be satisfied with the<br />

ending of the legislative duty, while the case<br />

law could be retained without attracting opposition.<br />

The Government latched on to the plan,<br />

buying time enough for the case law to be<br />

finalised.<br />

It is clear from Shah’s above quote that the<br />

British pronouncement to reach the repeal<br />

decision was connected to PM Narendra Modi.<br />

Statement from Equality and Human Rights<br />

Commission :<br />

Victims of caste discrimination will continue<br />

to have limited legal protection by the government<br />

ruling out a change in the law and<br />

restricting the scope of protection to what can<br />

be interpreted through case law. The government<br />

has missed a crucial opportunity to<br />

improve legal clarity and has taken a step back<br />

by looking to repeal the duty to include caste as<br />

an aspect of race in the Equality Act 2010. This<br />

is inconsistent with the UK’s international<br />

obligations to provide for separate and distinct<br />

protection for caste in our legislation. While<br />

we welcome the government’s commitment to<br />

produce guidance for employers, service<br />

providers and landlords on the sort of conduct<br />

that would be unlawful under the Equality Act,<br />

it does not replace the need for separate and<br />

distinct protection against caste discrimination<br />

in the law.<br />

I issued a further statement :<br />

The present Tory government not only lost<br />

its moral authority but holds parliament in contempt<br />

that you can see the way it manages<br />

Brexit. British parliament passed the caste law<br />

to protect victims of caste<br />

discrimination and empowered minister of<br />

the crown to implement that decision not to<br />

repeal that decision. The government sat on<br />

that legislation for 5 years and now rides<br />

roughshod over parliaments decision.<br />

The Tory governments in the past had<br />

expressed to abolish human rights and with it<br />

the EHRC . It lies in their natural instinct to<br />

stem the flow towards equality and human<br />

rights in general.<br />

The EHRC announcement did the honourable<br />

thing to uphold the principle of human<br />

rights and in particular Equality by declaring<br />

support for caste discrimination protection.<br />

Our campaign to outlaw caste discrimination<br />

remains unfinished business.<br />

Thank you for your time.

www.theasianindependent.co.uk ASIA <strong>September</strong> <strong>2018</strong> 9<br />

Rohingya refugees demand justice on<br />

Myanmar crackdown anniversary<br />

Dhaka : Tens of thousands of<br />

Rohingya refugees held protests here on<br />

Saturday, demanding justice on the first<br />

anniversary of Myanmar's crackdown<br />

that forced them to flee to camps in<br />

neighbouring Bangladesh.<br />

Protesters in the world's largest<br />

Kutupalong refugee camp in<br />

Bangladesh rallied for justice and brandished<br />

a banner proclaiming: "Never<br />

Again". More than 700,000 of the<br />

minority community fled to Bangladesh<br />

after a crackdown by the Myanmar military<br />

in August 2017 that the UN has<br />

likened to "ethnic cleansing with signs<br />

of genocide through killings, rapes and<br />

the razing of houses that year".<br />

But the Myanmar government said it<br />

was fighting militants from the Arakan<br />

Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA) and<br />

was not targeting civilians.<br />

"The Myanmar military raped and<br />

killed our women, destroyed our properties,"<br />

Rakib Hossain told BBC<br />

Bengali. "They have to be punished. We<br />

want justice." Ashiya Begum, whose<br />

husband was killed during the violence<br />

in Rakhine, called camp life "miserable".<br />

"We can't continue like this. Let<br />

us go home," she said. There were also<br />

religious services, with an imam reportedly<br />

asking God in his sermon to return<br />

Rohingyas to their homeland "to see our<br />

parents' graves". Meanwhile, the UN<br />

renewed its appeal for aid for<br />

Rohingyas and called for support for the<br />

stateless refugees. "Kutupalong settlement<br />

in Cox's Bazar today shelters more<br />

than 600,000 refugees, making it the<br />

largest and most densely populated<br />

refugee settlement in the world," said<br />

Hopeful PAKISTAN<br />

will win Jadhav case<br />

: Foreign Minister<br />

Islamabad : Pakistan Foreign<br />

Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi<br />

on Thursday said he is hopeful that<br />

the country will win the case<br />

against alleged Indian spy<br />

Kulbhushan Jadhav in the<br />

International Court of Justice<br />

(ICJ). "We have solid evidence<br />

against Jadhav and are hopeful we<br />

will win the case in the ICJ,"<br />

Qureshi told the media in Multan<br />

city. "We will try our best to present<br />

our stance in an effective manner<br />

before the ICJ. Qureshi's comments<br />

came a day after the ICJ<br />

announced that it will hear<br />

Jadhav's case for a week in<br />

February 2019. "We will try to<br />

move forward under the leadership<br />

of Prime Minister Imran<br />

Khan. The nation should be ready<br />

as we will have to take some bitter<br />

decisions," he said. Jadhav was<br />

sentenced to death by a Pakistani<br />

military court for espionage in<br />

April 2017 following which India<br />

moved the ICJ. A 10-member ICJ<br />

bench restrained Pakistan from<br />

executing Jadhav till the case was<br />

adjudicated on. He was apprehended<br />

on March 3, 2016 after<br />

illegally crossing into Pakistan<br />

from Iran, according to Pakistani<br />

officials. Indian officials deny he<br />

was a spy and allege he was seized<br />

and taken forcibly to Pakistan.<br />

Sri Lankan man<br />

charged with<br />

terror document<br />

in Sydney<br />

Sydney : A Sri Lankan man<br />

was refused bail by a Sydney<br />

court on Friday, after being<br />

charged with a terrorism related<br />

offence. Authorities swooped<br />

on the 25-year-old at the<br />

University of New South Wales<br />

on Thursday after a fellow<br />

worker discovered a notebook<br />

that allegedly contained "potential<br />

targets", reports Xinhua<br />

news agency. The man was<br />

charged with collecting or making<br />

a document which is connected<br />

with preparation for the<br />

engagement of a person in or<br />

assistance in a terrorist act,<br />

Xinhua news agency reported.<br />

"They are symbolic locations<br />

within Sydney," acting<br />

Detective Superintendent Mick<br />

Sheehy explained. "We have<br />

both psychologists and investigators<br />

looking at that document<br />

to try to interpret the intent and<br />

capability, but that is in essence<br />

the offence that is before the<br />

court."<br />

Authorities seized a number<br />

of electric items on Friday<br />

morning when police raided a<br />

Sydney apartment. Currently in<br />

Australia on a student visa,<br />

counter-terrorism investigators<br />

believed the man is also affiliated<br />

with the Islamic State group<br />

but at this stage he has not been<br />

charged with being a member.<br />

the UN Refugee Agency UNHCR.<br />

"Over the past year, UNHCR teams<br />

have been working to support<br />

Bangladeshi authorities in areas including<br />

psycho-social counselling, prevention<br />

of sexual and gender-based violence,<br />

identification of and assistance to<br />

separated and unaccompanied children<br />

and other vulnerable refugees," the<br />

agency said. It also said the joint<br />

response plan launched in March <strong>2018</strong>,<br />

appealing for $951 million for the period<br />

from March to December <strong>2018</strong>, was<br />

only one-third funded.<br />

The World Health Organization said<br />

that the biggest challenge was "the need<br />

to further scale up services to meet the<br />

health needs of this highly vulnerable<br />

population". In a statement on the<br />

anniversary, ARSA affirmed its intention<br />

to continue with the fight to allow<br />

the Rohingyas to return to Rakhine, and<br />

accused the Myanmar authorities of<br />

looking to destroy their people.<br />

In a Rakhine village, the situation<br />

was calm on Saturday but there was a<br />

strong presence of border police and<br />

soldiers, a Muslim Rohingya man told<br />

Efe news. The man said he has no freedom<br />

of movement and was closely<br />

monitored along with the rest of the<br />

community. The Myanmar government<br />

has agreed a deal with Bangladesh to<br />

repatriate refugees but few have<br />

returned, with Rohingya leaders saying<br />

they would not go back unless they<br />

could guarantee their safety.<br />

Myanmar's leader Aung San Suu Kyi<br />

has faced international outrage for not<br />

condemning the Army's actions in<br />

Rakhine state. A predominantly<br />

Buddhist country, Myanmar denies<br />

Rohingyas citizenship. The government<br />

even excluded them from the 2014 census<br />

and refused to recognize them as a<br />

people.<br />

Modi meets Sri Lankan President<br />

New Delhi/Kathmandu :<br />

Indian Prime Minister Narendra<br />

Modi on Thursday held talks<br />

with Sri Lankan President<br />

Maithripala Sirisena on the sidelines<br />

of the fourth BIMSTEC<br />

Summit here.<br />

“Good and positive exchange<br />

of views on strengthening<br />

development cooperation and<br />

other areas of bilateral relationship<br />

(between India and Sri<br />

Lanka),” External Affairs<br />

Ministry spokesperson Raveesh<br />

Kumar tweeted. Modi is also<br />

scheduled to meet other heads<br />

of state and government taking<br />

part in the summit.<br />

Addison Aaron<br />

A First Class Full Service<br />

International Law Firm<br />

Committed To Winning Matters.<br />

Tel : 0121 213 4812<br />

law@addisonaaron.com<br />

w w w . a d d i s o n a a r o n . c o m

www.theasianindependent.co.uk<br />

Accountants<br />

City Accountants<br />

29 Foremans Road, Sparkhill,<br />

B’ham B11 3AA<br />

Tel. 0121 777 8000<br />

www.city-accountants.co.uk<br />

43B Formans Rd, B’ham, B11<br />

3AA | Tel: 0121 777 8000<br />

Barber Shop<br />

JC Hairstyles<br />

78 Gipsy Ln, Leicester LE4<br />

6RE<br />

Tel: 0116 266 9188<br />

271 Tat Bank Rd, Oldbury,<br />

Birmingham, B68 8NP<br />

Tel : 0121 544 0068<br />

Ladypool Rd, Birmingham,<br />

B128JY<br />

Bars & Pubs<br />

5 Market Pl, Tipton, DY4 7EJ<br />

Tel : 0121 557 6506<br />

Bank<br />

118 Soho Rd, B21 9DP<br />

Tel : 0121 515 0400<br />

182 Soho Rd, Birmingham,<br />

B21 9LP, Tel : 0121 507 9940<br />

173-175 Soho Rd, B’ham, B21<br />

9SU | Tel : 0121 523 5973<br />

290 Soho Rd, Birmingham,<br />

B21 9LZ | Tel : 0121 554 9082<br />

Builders<br />

S &P Builders<br />

Sukhi Mob. : 07737 060 121<br />

Pamma Mob.: 07450 762 550<br />

Bearwood Maintenance<br />

Mob. 07811 392 786<br />

Raj & Raj Building Work<br />

B’ham | Mob. 07404 042 783<br />

Birmingham Building<br />

Construction<br />

Osman Abyan<br />

Managing Director<br />

Mob; 07429 398 280<br />

birminghambuildingconstruction@hotmail.com<br />

Carpentry<br />

Flora Carpentry<br />

Sunny Mob. 07403 586 305<br />

Mail: gurdipflora@hotmail.com<br />

Carpets<br />

UK Carpets<br />

1188-1190 Warwick Rd, Acocks<br />

Green, B’ham B27 6BT<br />

Tel. 0121 707 6424<br />

www.uk-carpets.com<br />

Corner Shop<br />

165 -167 Stratford Rd, B’ham,<br />

B111RB | Tel : 0121 772 1322<br />

523 Foleshill Rd, Coventry,<br />

CV6 5AU | Tel : 024 7666 5277<br />

Wallsal Rd, Wednesbury,<br />

WS10 9SJ<br />

44a Pinson Rd, Willhall,<br />

WV132PR | Tel : 01902 606302<br />

42 Church St, Bilston,<br />

Wolverhampton,<br />

WV14 0AH<br />

Aaron’s Catering Services<br />

Brewery Street, off High Street<br />

Smethwick B67 7RA<br />

Tel : 0121 555 8400<br />

Mob : 07805 337 232<br />

Mail: info@aaronsfoods.co.uk<br />

Web: www. aaronsfood.com<br />

Indian Sweets<br />

& Catering<br />

We Cater For All Occasions;<br />

Weddings, Birthdays,<br />

Engagements Parties or any<br />

other Social Functions.<br />

Big Discounts on<br />

Bulk Orders<br />

Quality Service and<br />

Years of Experience<br />

71 Great Bridge,<br />

Tipton, DY4 7HF<br />

Tel. 0121 238 2648<br />

Mob: 07413 426 930<br />

Mail: vivek_18hp@yahoo.com<br />

Café & Restaurants<br />

84 Oxhill Rd, Birmingham,<br />

B21 9RH | Tel : 0121 554 5517<br />

225 Holyhead Rd, Birmingham<br />

B21 0AP | Tel : 0121 515 4110<br />

20 High St, Smethwick, B’ham,<br />

B66 1DX | Tel : 0121 558 8488<br />

86 High St, Smethwick, B’ham,<br />

B66 1AQ | Tel : 0121 558 8372<br />

Tollgate Shopping Precinct,<br />

Smethwick, Birmingham, B67<br />

7RA | Tel : 0121 565 2122<br />

Tollgate Shopping Centre,<br />

Brewery St, Smethwick, B’ham,<br />

B67 7RA | Tel : 0121 555 8400<br />

285-287 High St, Smethwick,<br />

Birmingham, B66 3NJ<br />

Tel : 0121 565 2187<br />

166 High St,<br />

Harborne,Birmingham,<br />

B179PN<br />

314, High St,<br />

Harborne, Birmingham,<br />

B179PU<br />

10, Rood End Road,<br />

Oldbury, Birmingham,<br />

B688SH<br />

125 High St, West Bromwich,<br />

Birmingham, B70 6NY<br />

Tel : 0121 525 9458<br />

142 High St, West<br />

Bromwich, Birmingham,<br />

B706NY<br />

40 Old Walsall Rd, B’ham,<br />

B42 1NP<br />

205 Dyas Ave, Birmingham,<br />

B42 1HN<br />

572 Kingstanding Rd, B’ham,<br />

B44 9SD | Tel : 0121 373 3549<br />

563 Coventry Rd, Small Heath,<br />

Birmingham, B10 0LP<br />

Tel : Tel: 0121 572 6397<br />

703 - 705 Stratford Road,<br />

Sparkhill, B’ham, B11 4DN<br />

Tel: 0121 778 5100<br />

71 Great Bridge, Tipton, DY4<br />

7HF | 0121 238 2648<br />

48A Lower High St,<br />

Wednesbury, WS10 7AL,<br />

Tel : 0121 505 1211<br />

200 Dudley Rd, Wolverhampton,<br />

WV2 3DT | Tel : 01902 450939<br />

Barcroft Rd, Wolverhampton,<br />

WV2 3HF | Tel : 01902 451113<br />

Cash & Carry /<br />

Supermarkets /<br />

Corner Shops<br />

Radias Superstore<br />

121-127 Melton Rd, City<br />

Centre, Leicester LE4 6QS Tel:<br />

0116 266 9409<br />

A1 Cash and Carry<br />

112 Green Lane Road,<br />

Leicester, LE5 3TJ<br />

Tel: 0116 212 2129<br />

Shah's Pan House<br />

523 Foleshill Rd, Coventry,<br />

CV6 5AU<br />

Tel: 02476 665 2777<br />

Catering<br />

Sukhdev's Catering<br />

Unit 4, 5/7 South Road,<br />

Hockley, Birmingham B18 5LT<br />

Tel: 0121 314 1247<br />

Mail: sukhdev@sukhdevfoods.com<br />

www.sukdhevcaterings.co.uk<br />

Double Glazing<br />

Star Windows (GB) Ltd.<br />

16 Rolfe St, Smethwick,<br />

B’ham B66 2AA<br />

Tel. 0121 555 8333<br />

Electronics<br />

86 Great Hampton St, B’ham,<br />

B186EW<br />

Fence<br />

T & D Fencing<br />

Unit 405, Smethwick Enterprise<br />

Centre, St, Smethwick, B66 2AR<br />

Tel. 0121-565 4533<br />

www.TandDfencing.co.uk<br />

Hardware Store<br />

Queens Park Stores<br />

Diy • Furniture • Beds • Bathrooms<br />

224/230 Court Oak Road,<br />

Harborne, Birmingham B32 2EG<br />

Tel: 0121 – 4282164<br />

www.queensparkstores.co.uk<br />

27A W Bromwich St, Walsall,<br />

WS1 4BP :| Tel : 01922 642329<br />


Health Care<br />

Premium Community Care<br />

86 Digbeth, B’ham B5 6DY<br />

Tel. 0121 643 9808<br />

Insurance<br />

Crownsway Insurance<br />

Brokers Ltd.<br />

183 Holyhead Road,<br />

Handsworth, Birmingham<br />

Tel. 0121 554 3566/9788<br />

www.crownsway.co.uk<br />

Insurance Broker<br />

46 Summer Rd, Birmingham,<br />

B236UR<br />

DJS House, 183 Holyhead<br />

Road, Birmingham, B21 0BD<br />

Tel : 0121 554 3566<br />

Lettings & Sales<br />

Ignite Properties<br />

44A High Street, Leamington<br />

Spa, CV31 1 LW<br />

Tel.: 01926 930 251<br />

www.ignite-properties.co.uk<br />

Angel Estates Ltd<br />

251-253 Rookery Rd,<br />

Birmingham B21 9PU<br />

Phone: 0121 448 0717<br />

M & R Lettings & Sales<br />

Wolverhampton<br />

Tel. 01902 833 844<br />

Sodhi & Co.<br />

123 Evington Road, Leicester<br />

Tel. 0116 255 3455<br />

www.sodiandco.com<br />

Library<br />

Birmingham Rd, Birmingham<br />

B43 6NW<br />

193 High St, Harborne, B’ham,<br />

B179QG<br />

Kingstanding Road, B’ham,<br />

B44 9ST | Tel : 0121 464 5193<br />

Meat Shop<br />

Soand Meat Shop<br />

122 Green Lane Road, Leicester<br />

Tel. 0116 276 0658<br />

326 Ladypool Rd, Birmingha,<br />

B128JY<br />

Punjab Meat Center<br />

16 Tollgate Shopping Precinct,<br />

Smethwick, B’ham B67 7RA<br />

Tel. 0121 448 7279<br />

169 Rookery Rd, Birmingham,<br />

B21 9QZ, Tel : 0121 554 1988<br />

Tollgate Shopping Precinct,<br />

Smethwick , B’ham, B67 7RA<br />

Tel : 0121 558 4441<br />

123 High St, West Bromwich,<br />

Birmingham, B70 6NY<br />

Tel : 0121 553 3555<br />

37 High St, West Bromwich ,<br />

Birmingham, B70 6PB<br />

Tel : 0121 553 5231<br />

600 -602 Coventry Rd, Small<br />

Heath, Birmingham, B10 0US<br />

Tel : 0121 773 0234<br />

542 -544, Coventry Rd, Small<br />

Heath, Birmingham, B10 0UN<br />

Tel: 0121 771 0292<br />

711/713 Stratford Road,<br />

Sparkhill, Birmingham, B11<br />

4DN | Tel: 0121 778 5553<br />

Soand Meat Shop<br />

122 Green Lane Road, Leicester<br />

Tel. 0116 276 0658<br />

Punjab Meat Center<br />

16 Tollgate Shopping Precinct,<br />

Smethwick, B’ham B67 7RA<br />

Tel. 0121 448 7279<br />

Stand Meat Shop<br />

122 Green Lane Road,<br />

Leicester, LE5 3TJ Tel: 0116<br />

276 0658<br />

New Asia Meat Centre<br />

119 Caludon Rd, Coventry CV2<br />

4LR Tel: 024 7644 7900<br />

Gill Meat & Grocery<br />

Unit 12, Tollgate Shopping Centre,<br />

Smethwick, B’ham B67 7RA<br />

Tel : 0121 558 4441<br />

383 Mosley Rd, B’ham,<br />

B129DD<br />

Tat Bank Rd, Oldbury, B’ham<br />

B68 8NR<br />

212 Golden Hillock Rd, B’ham,<br />

B112PN<br />

Birmingham,<br />

B10 0QP<br />

Mortgage<br />

Zakir Mortgage<br />

128 A, Stoney Lane, B’ham<br />

Tel. 0121 449 7091<br />

Mob. 07890 615 016<br />

Motoring<br />

BR Car Care<br />

383-387 Moseley Rd, B’ham<br />

B12 9DD<br />

Tel. 0121 440 0779<br />

Mosque<br />

Off License<br />

Super Wines and Spirits<br />

91-793 Stratford Rd,<br />

Birmingham B11 4DG<br />

Tel: 0121 778 5016<br />

<strong>September</strong> <strong>2018</strong><br />

10<br />

4-6 Beauchamp Ave, B’ham,<br />

B201DR<br />

255 Lodge Rd, B’ham,<br />

B18 5SJ<br />

91-793 Stratford Rd, B’ham,<br />

B11 4DG | Tel: 0121 778 5016<br />

138 Clay Ln, Coventry,<br />

CV2 4LT<br />

Brax News, 156-160 W<br />

Bromwich St, Walsall,<br />

WS1 4DE<br />

Darlaston, Wednesbury,<br />

WS10 7TQ<br />

Party Hall<br />

Supreme Banqueting and<br />

Conference<br />

10, Roebuck Lane, West<br />

Bromwich, B70 6QP.<br />

Tel: 0121 553 3921<br />

Radio<br />

715-C Parkfield Road<br />

Wolverhampton, WV4 6EE<br />

Tel. 1902 681 655<br />

TM<br />

24 hour<br />

Entertainment<br />

On-Line, On Mobiles<br />

Studio : 01902 457875<br />

Reception : 01902 450533<br />

Safety Lockers<br />

MINT Safety Deposit Centres<br />

MacDonald Road, Leicester,<br />

LE4 5HD | Tel. 0345 222 3456<br />

School of Motoring<br />

Bains School of Motoring<br />

Mobile: 07973 281968<br />

Tel: 0121 523 2848<br />

Security Services<br />

Your Security Services Ltd.<br />

86 Digbeth, B’ham B5 6DY<br />

Tel. 0121 448 0750<br />

www.ysrl.co.uk<br />

Singers, Stage and<br />

TV artists<br />

Babbu Chander<br />

Wolverhampton<br />

Mob. 07492 129 321, 07429 119 530<br />

Sukhdev Jassi<br />

Bedford | Mob. 07901 796 669<br />

Pamma Lasadia<br />

Wolverhampton<br />

07448 886 166

www.theasianindependent.co.uk<br />

Solicitors Chaudhary’s Cash & Carry<br />

Stratford Rd, Birmingham, B11<br />

4BP | Tel: 0121 778 3800<br />

Dadiyal Supermarket<br />

118-120 Alum Rock Rd, B’ham,<br />

B8 1NH<br />

Desi Bazaar<br />

560 Coventry Rd, Small<br />

Heath, Birmingham, B18 0UN<br />

Tel: 0121 773 9909<br />

Braitch Solicitors<br />

28 Chapel Ash,Wolverhampton<br />

Mob. 07773 374 848<br />

Tel. 01902 711 200<br />

Indian Advocate & Top<br />

Immigration Services<br />

Wolverhampton<br />

Tel.01902 457711<br />

Mob. 078 2828 3992<br />

Midland Immigration<br />

Services Ltd.<br />

255 Melton Road, Leicester<br />

Tel. 0800 0304 998<br />

VKM<br />

48, Queen St, Wolverhampton<br />

WV1 2BJ<br />

Tel: 01902 311 1155<br />

Super Market<br />

Sabar General Stores<br />

113, Holyhead Road,<br />

Handsworth B21 0HH<br />

Tel : 0121 551 6423<br />

Wayco Supermarket<br />

72A Soho Road, Handsworth,<br />


Tel : 0121 551 8711<br />

Soho News<br />

129 Soho Rd, BIRMINGHAM,<br />

B21 9ST<br />

Al Halal Supermarket<br />

7 - 13 Alum Rock Rd, B’ham,<br />

B8 1LL | Tel: 0121 327 0074<br />

Al Halal Supermarket<br />

360 Coventry Rd, Birmingham,<br />

B10 0XE | Tel: 0121 753 4391<br />

Al Halal Supermarket<br />

753-770 Stratford Rd, B’ham,<br />

B11 4DG | Tel: 0121 777 1510<br />

Aujla Supermarket<br />

116 High St, West Bromwich,<br />

B‘ham, B706PB<br />

Buy and Save<br />

Rood End Rd, Oldbury, B’ham,<br />

B688SH<br />

Desi Mass Bazar<br />

Ladypool Road, Birmingham,<br />

B128TT<br />

East & West Supermarket<br />

721-725 Stratford Rd, B’ham,<br />

B11 4DN | Tel: 0121 7773904<br />

East & West Super market<br />

132 - 136 Ladypool Rd, B’ham,<br />

B128JA<br />

Food World<br />

121 Villa Rd, Birmingham,<br />

B19 1NH | Tel: 0121 554 6532<br />

Food World Super market<br />

728 Stratford Rd, Birmingham<br />

B11 4BP | Tel: 0121 777 8636<br />

Gill Super market<br />

330A Soho Rd, Birmingham,<br />

B21 9NA | Tel : 0121 523 5272<br />

Grocery Store<br />

New Street, Smethwick, B’ham,<br />

B66 4PH |<br />

Hill Top Super market<br />

125 Hill Top, West Bromwich,<br />

Birmingham, B70 0RU<br />

Tel : 0121 505 3529<br />

Khan Super Market<br />

618 - 620 Coventry Rd, Small<br />

Heath, Birmingham, B10 0UT<br />

Tel : Tel: 0121773 6843<br />

Lifestyle Express Apna<br />

Food & Wine<br />

Albret Rd,<br />

B’ham, B21 9QX<br />

Lodge Supermarket<br />

70 Lodge Rd, West Bromwich,<br />

Birmingham, B70 8PA<br />

Tel : 0121 553 4004<br />

Londis Supermarket<br />

23 Acfold Rd, Birmingham,<br />

B20 1HD<br />

Malhi's Supermarket<br />

Bacchus Rd, Birmingham, B18<br />

4RE<br />

Money Saver Food Store<br />

Ladypool Rd,<br />

B’ham, B128TT<br />

Pak Super Market<br />

121-125 Lozells Rd, B’ham,<br />

B19 2TR | Tel : 0121 554 2711<br />

PAK Supermarket<br />

Unit 1 Cape Hill Retail Centre,<br />

Cape Hill, B’ham, B66 4PH<br />

Tel : 0121 558 6786<br />

Pak Super Market<br />

42 Alum Rock Rd, B’ham, B8<br />

1JA | Tel: 0121 328 7868<br />

Punjab Food Store<br />

94 High St, West Bromwich,<br />

B’ham, B706NZ<br />

If You See This...<br />

List Your Business Here<br />

Call : 07878 456 484<br />

Punjab Supermarket<br />

Birmingham :<br />

B11 4DX<br />

R S Superstore<br />

58 Nineveh Rd, Birmingham,<br />

B21 0TE | Tel : 0121 554 1687<br />

S & B General Store<br />

3 College Rd, B’ham B20 2HU<br />

Tel : 0121 523 4371<br />

Sabar General Store<br />

113 Holyhead Rd, Birmingham<br />

B21 0HH | Tel :<br />

Sonali Supermarket<br />

537, Coventry Rd, Small<br />

Heath, Birmingham, B10 0LL<br />

Tel: 0121 773 8236<br />

Toor Supermarket<br />

93 Rookery Rd, B’ham, B21<br />

9QX | Tel : 0121 554 0796<br />

Vegmart<br />

147-149 Soho Rd, B’ham, B21<br />

9ST | Tel :<br />

Villa Supermarket<br />

117 Villa Rd, B’ham, B19<br />

1NH | Tel : 0121 554 2374<br />

Wayco Supermarket Ltd<br />

72A Soho Rd, B’ham, B21<br />

9BH | Tel : 0121 551 8711<br />

Heer Super Store<br />

19-21 Clay Ln, Coventry, CV2<br />

4LJ | Tel : 024 7645 6903<br />

Warley Supermarket<br />

75 Bridge St, Wednesbury,<br />

WS10 0AH | 0121 505 5898<br />

Banga Stores<br />

59A Lea Rd, Wolverhampton,<br />

WV3 0LW | 01902 338835<br />

Samra Supermarket<br />

418 Dudley Rd, Wolverhampton<br />

WV2 3BP | 01902 458814<br />

Sandhus Supermarket<br />

15 Bargate Dr, Wolverhampton,<br />

WV6 0QW | Tel: 01902 311556<br />

Take Away & Cafe<br />

Chick King<br />

225 Holyhead Rd, B’ham<br />

B21 0AP | Tel. 0121 515 4110<br />

Jalandar Sweet Shop<br />

86, High St, Smethwick,<br />

B’ham B66 1AA<br />

Apna Punjab Sweet Centre<br />

65A, Purely Road, Leicester<br />

LE4 6PB<br />

Tel: 0116 266 6567<br />

Taxi & Coach Hire<br />

Brit Coaches<br />

93 Dudley Rd, Halesowen<br />

B63 3NS<br />

Tel. 0121 769 2707<br />

www.britcoaches.co.uk<br />

Warley Cars<br />

Tel. 0121 555 7654<br />

Taxi & Bus Hire<br />

86, Digbeth Rd, Birmingham, B5<br />

6DY | Tel : Tel: 0121 643 1000<br />

209, Bordsley Green, B’ham, B95SP<br />

Tent Hire<br />

Amrit Tent Hire<br />

Mob; 07815 134 618<br />

amrittenthire@yahoo.co.uk<br />

Walsall DIY<br />

West Bromwich St.<br />

Walsall 01922 642 329<br />


Travel Agency<br />

101 Soho Rd, Birmingham, B21<br />

9SP |<br />

Travel Agencies<br />

Sky Way Travel<br />

232 Soho Rd, B’ham B21 9LR<br />

Tel. 0121 523 3050<br />

Balu Travel<br />

114 Soho Rd, B’ham B21 9DP<br />

Tel. 0121 554 4013<br />

Visa<br />

<strong>September</strong> <strong>2018</strong><br />

Training & Development<br />

11<br />

Event Management & Wedding Planners<br />

Travel & Accommodations<br />

Enjoy Holidays in India & Across the Globe with ONTIME<br />

Inbound & Outbound Tailor Made Tours<br />

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On Sky Channel 775<br />

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SATURDAY at<br />

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Ambedkarites News and Views<br />

by<br />


Mob : 07411 251 804, 07847 307 059

12 <strong>September</strong> <strong>2018</strong><br />


www.theasianindependent.co.uk<br />

Panasonic to move its<br />

European headquarters<br />

out of UK<br />

Tokyo : Japanese technology company<br />

Panasonic will move its European headquarters<br />

outside of the United Kingdom on October 1,<br />

before the country leaves the European Union, a<br />

move known as brexit, in 2019, a spokeswoman<br />

for the conglomerate said on Friday. Panasonic<br />

confirmed to Efe that it will move its European<br />

headquarters from Bracknell, in Berkshire<br />

County, about 45 km west of London, to<br />

Amsterdam, the Netherlands, where the headquarters<br />

of Panasonic Holding Netherlands (parent<br />

of its subsidiaries located outside Japan) and<br />

Panasonic Finance (PFI), the group's financing<br />

company, are already located. The move "will<br />

allow a high level of cooperation and collaboration<br />

with PHN and PFI, whose main objective is<br />

to expand shared operations in Europe to<br />

achieve greater efficiency and cost competitiveness,<br />

while having easy access to the different<br />

European markets", spokeswoman said.<br />

The company also took into account the decision<br />

of the United Kingdom to leave the<br />

European Union in determining the relocation.<br />

"In the future, this may lead to changes in the<br />

transfer of labor, products, materials, services,<br />

data and potential tax obstacles through the<br />

application of different rules and regulations<br />

between the UK and the EU," she said.<br />

Panasonic would also like to avoid the problems<br />

that could arise if the Japanese government were<br />

to consider the United Kingdom as a tax haven<br />

if it opts to reduce corporate taxes in order to<br />

attract companies after the brexit, planned for<br />

March next year, to alleviate the flight of large<br />

conglomerates.<br />

The Japanese technology conglomerate said<br />

it hopes to "minimise the impact wherever possible<br />

for the small number of people involved in<br />

this change of our regional headquarters" and<br />

stated that "no business operations in the UK<br />

will be affected".<br />

Coca Cola to buy coffee<br />

chain Costa for $5.1 bn<br />

London : The Coca Cola Company on<br />

Friday said it will buy British coffee shop chain<br />

Costa for $5.1 billion, diversifying further from<br />

its soft drink roots, according to a Dow Jones<br />

report. Founded in London in 1971, Costa, a<br />

rival to Starbucks Corporation in the UK, has<br />

nearly 4,000 stores in 32 countries and also sells<br />

coffee in grocery shops and gas stations. Coke<br />

said the purchase would give it a strong position<br />

in coffee across parts of Europe, Asia and the<br />

Middle East. It already sells some coffee products<br />

and owns the Georgia brand in Japan, Efe<br />

news reported. Coffee has recently been a hot<br />

industry for M&A. Nestle SA earlier in <strong>2018</strong><br />

bought the rights to sell Starbucks in grocery<br />

and retail stores for more than $7 billion. The<br />

acquisition is also the latest sign of how soda<br />

makers are diversifying as they look to move<br />

beyond sugary pop. It marks the latest bet by a<br />

major consumer goods company on coffee.<br />

Coke is buying Costa from British leisure group<br />

Whitbread PLC, which also owns the Premier<br />

Inn hotel brand in the UK and Germany.<br />

Whitbread's shares soared 18 per cent in early<br />

trading on Friday. It said it expected the deal to<br />

be completed in the first half of 2019.<br />

Bimstec commits itself<br />

to seamless connectivity,<br />


Kathmandu : The Bimstec<br />

regional bloc on Friday reiterated<br />

its resolve to provide seamless<br />

transport connectivity within its<br />

seven member states and renewed<br />

its commitment to an early free<br />

trade deal. A joint declaration<br />

issued at the conclusion of the<br />

Fourth Bimstec Summit here stated<br />

that the member states resolved<br />

"to establish seamless multi-modal<br />

transportation linkages and<br />

smooth, synchronised and simplified<br />

transit facilities". This would<br />

be done "through the development,<br />

expansion and modernisation of<br />

highways, railways, waterways,<br />

sea routes, airways in the region".<br />

It said that the respective authorities<br />

would be directed to speed up<br />

their efforts to conclude the Bay of<br />

Bengal Initiative for Multi-<br />

Sectoral Technical and Economic<br />

Cooperation's Coastal Shipping<br />

Agreement and the Bimstec Motor<br />

Vehicle Agreement as early as possible.<br />

The bloc was also satisfied<br />

with the preparation of the draft<br />

Bimstec Master Plan on Transport<br />

Connectivity and called for its<br />

early adoption.<br />

It thanked the Asian<br />

Development Bank for providing<br />

support to prepare the Master Plan<br />

and tasked the Bimstec Transport<br />

Connectivity Working Group to<br />

work out the modalities for its<br />

implementation, giving due attention<br />

to the special circumstances<br />

and needs of the member states.<br />

"We agree that the Master Plan<br />

would serve as a strategic document<br />

that guides actions and promotes<br />

synergy among various<br />

connectivity frameworks, such as<br />

the Asean (Association of<br />

Southeast Asian Nations) Master<br />

Plan on Connectivity 2025<br />

(MPAC 2025), the Ayeyawady-<br />

Chao Phraya-Mekong Economic<br />

Cooperation Strategy (ACMECS),<br />

to achieve enhanced connectivity<br />

and sustainable development in<br />

our region," it stated.<br />

The statement comes in the<br />

wake of Indian Prime Minister<br />

Narendra Modi's stress on connectivity<br />

within the region during his<br />

address at the inaugural session of<br />

the Summit on Thursday.<br />

Bimstec came into existence on<br />

June 6, 1997, through the<br />

Bangkok Declaration.<br />

It comprises seven countries<br />

lying in the littoral and adjacent<br />

Weak rupee depress<br />

equity INDICES<br />

Mumbai : The key Indian<br />

equity indices closed in the red<br />

on Friday owing to a weak<br />

rupee along with a declining<br />

trend in global indices. At 3.30<br />

p.m., the Nifty50 on the<br />

National Stock Exchange<br />

(NSE) provisionally closed at<br />

11,673.90 points, lower by just<br />

2.90 points or 0.02 per cent<br />

from its previous close of<br />

11,676.80 points.<br />

The benchmark<br />

S&P BSE Sensex,<br />

which had opened<br />

at 38,704.84<br />

points, provisionally<br />

closed at<br />

38,645.07 points,<br />

lower by 45.03<br />

points or 0.12 per<br />

cent from the previous<br />

close of 38,690.10 points.<br />

It touched an intra-day high of<br />

38,838.45 points and a low of<br />

38,562.21 points. The top gainers<br />

on the Sensex were Tata<br />

Motors, Tata Motors (DVR),<br />

Power Grid, Sun Pharma and<br />

Bajaj Auto; while Yes Bank,<br />

Reliance Industries, Mahindra<br />

and Mahindra, Maruti Suzuki<br />

and Vedanta lost the most.<br />

New Delhi : India and Pakistan<br />

have discussed the implementation of<br />

various hydroelectric projects under<br />

the Indus Waters Treaty during the<br />

115th meeting of the India-Pakistan<br />

Permanent Indus Commission (PIC) in<br />

Lahore on August 29-30, the External<br />

Affairs Ministry said on Friday.<br />

"As per the provisions of the Indus<br />

Waters Treaty 1960, technical discussions<br />

were held on the implementation<br />

of various hydroelectric projects,<br />

including Pakal Dul (1,000 MW) and<br />

Lower Kalnai(48 MW) in Jammu and<br />

Kashmir," the Ministry said in a statement.<br />

"Both the countries agreed to undertake<br />

the Treaty-mandated tours of both<br />

the Indus Commissioners in the Indus<br />

basin on both sides," it said.<br />

areas of the Bay of Bengal --<br />

Bangladesh, Bhutan, India,<br />

Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka and<br />

Thailand. The bloc brings together<br />

1.6 billion people, or 22 per cent<br />

of the world's population, and has<br />

a combined GDP of $2.8 trillion.<br />

In terms of trade cooperation,<br />

the bloc renewed its commitment<br />

to an early conclusion of Bimstec<br />

Free Trade Area (FTA) negotiations,<br />

and directed the Bimstec<br />

Trade and Economic Ministerial<br />

Meeting (TEMM) and its subsidiary<br />

bodies including the Trade<br />

Negotiating Committee (TNC) to<br />

expedite finalisation of all related<br />

Agreements of the Bimstec FTA<br />

as early as possible.<br />

The member states also agreed<br />

to enhance cooperation for development,<br />

access and sharing of<br />

affordable technologies, including<br />

for micro, small and medium<br />

enterprises for promoting sustainable<br />

development across sectors.<br />

The declaration reemphasised<br />

the need for cooperation in mountain<br />

ecosystems and the Blue<br />

Economy. In terms of people-topeople<br />

ties, the bloc resolved to<br />

build a deeper understanding and<br />

trust among member states and<br />

promote people-to-people contacts<br />

at various levels.<br />

The member states also agreed<br />

"to take concrete steps to promote<br />

intra-Bimstec tourism and task the<br />

relevant authorities to devise<br />

strategies considering the emerging<br />

opportunities and building on<br />

the past initiatives".<br />

India, Pakistan discuss<br />

implementation of Indus<br />

Waters Treaty projects<br />

"Deliberations were also held on<br />

further strengthening the role of the<br />

Permanent Indus Commission on matters<br />

falling under the Treaty purview."<br />

The treaty was signed in 1960 and<br />

involves the Beas, Ravi, Sutlej, Indus,<br />

Chenab and Jhelum rivers.<br />

Brokered by the World Bank, the<br />

treaty gave the right to use waters of<br />

the first three rivers to India and of the<br />

other three to Pakistan.<br />

India has said it has the right under<br />

the treaty to set up hydroelectric plants<br />

on the tributaries of the rivers flowing<br />

through its territory. Pakistan fears this<br />

might reduce the water flow into its territory.<br />

During the Lahore talks, the Indian<br />

side was led by P.K. Saxena, the Indian<br />

Commissioner for Indus Waters.

www.theasianindependent.co.uk<br />

HEALTH<br />

<strong>September</strong> <strong>2018</strong><br />

13<br />

Intake of low-carb diet or<br />

high-carb diet can increase<br />

risk of an early death<br />

It was deduced that<br />

for a healthy lifespan, a<br />

moderate amount of<br />

carbohydrate is imperative.<br />

Less than 40 per<br />

cent or more than 70<br />

per cent of calories<br />

from carbohydrates<br />

increases the risk of<br />

mortality.<br />

Cutting down carb intake and eating<br />

it in moderation is what dieticians and<br />

nutritionists generally advise. A recent<br />

study has shown that the intake of both<br />

high-carb diet or a low one can increase<br />

the risk of an early death.<br />

The research published in the Lancet<br />

public health journal took into consideration<br />

results of eight studies. It was<br />

deduced that for a healthy lifespan, a<br />

moderate amount of carbohydrate is<br />

imperative. Less than 40 per cent or<br />

more than 70 per cent of calories from<br />

carbohydrates increases the risk of mortality.<br />

A report in The Guardian cautions<br />

that not all low-carb diets are similar.<br />

Those who eat more meat like chicken,<br />

lamb and less carbohydrates, their mortality<br />

risk tend to be higher than those<br />

who get their protein from foods such<br />

like avocados, nuts and legumes.<br />

"Low-carb diets that replace carbohydrates<br />

with protein or fat are gaining<br />

widespread popularity as a health and<br />

weight loss strategy," Dr Sara<br />

Seidelmann said as quoted in the report.<br />

"However, our data suggests that animal-based<br />

low-carbohydrate diets,<br />

which are prevalent in North America<br />

and Europe, might be associated with<br />

shorter overall life span and should be<br />

discouraged. Instead, if one chooses to<br />

follow a low-carbohydrate diet, then<br />

exchanging carbohydrates for more<br />

plant-based fats and proteins might<br />

actually promote healthy ageing in the<br />

long term." Seidelmann, who also led<br />

the research, added. She also said that<br />

instead pf presenting a single picture,<br />

her team has tried to "thoroughly<br />

answer a question".<br />

"Nutrition is high up on everybody's<br />

mind but there is such confusion about<br />

what we should eat. One day, a study is<br />

coming out telling us high carb is better,<br />

another day a study is telling us low<br />

carb is better."<br />

Eat strawberries,<br />

improve gut health<br />

Eating strawberries at a dose<br />

equivalent to as low as three<br />

quarters of a cup may reduce<br />

colonic inflammation and<br />

improve gut health, a study has<br />

found.<br />

Inflammatory bowel disease<br />

(IBD) is a set of painful conditions<br />

that can cause severe diarrhoea<br />

and fatigue and the treatment<br />

can include medications<br />

and surgery.<br />

The findings suggest that the<br />

dietary consumption of whole<br />

strawberries, significantly suppressed<br />

symptoms like weight<br />

loss and bloody diarrhoea in<br />

mice with inflammatory bowel<br />

disease (IBD).<br />

"The sedentary lifestyle and<br />

dietary habits of many people in<br />

this country-high-sugar, highanimal<br />

fat, but low-fibre dietsmay<br />

promote colonic inflammation<br />

and increase the risk of<br />

IBD," said lead author Hang<br />

Xiao from the University of<br />

Massachusetts Amherst in the<br />

US.<br />

The study, to be presented at<br />

the 256th National Meeting and<br />

Exposition of the American<br />

Chemical Society (ACS), also<br />

found that strawberry treatments<br />

diminished inflammatory<br />

responses in the mice colonic<br />

issue.<br />

To establish an effective and<br />

practical approach to decrease<br />

colonic inflammation in both<br />

IBD patients and the general<br />

population, the team focused on<br />

strawberries due to their wide<br />

consumption.<br />

For the study, the researchers<br />

used four groups of mice-a<br />

group of healthy mice consuming<br />

a regular diet, and three<br />

groups of mice with IBD consuming<br />

a regular diet which had<br />

2.5 per cent whole strawberry<br />

powder or a diet with five per<br />

cent whole strawberry powder.<br />

They tried to feed the mice<br />

doses of strawberries that would<br />

be in line with what a human<br />

could reasonably consume.<br />

The team found that along<br />

with decreased inflammation, a<br />

reversal of the unhealthy microbiota<br />

pathways in the IBD mice<br />

was also observed-which in turn<br />

could lead to the decreased<br />

colonic inflammation.<br />

Although drinking cold water<br />

is effective in increasing blood<br />

circulation levels, according to<br />

researchers, the number of calories<br />

that are burned by drinking<br />

cold water is too little to even<br />

make a difference.<br />

Contrary to popular belief,<br />

drinking cold water for weight<br />

loss is just a myth. Although it is<br />

effective in increasing blood circulation<br />

levels, according to<br />

researchers, the number of calories<br />

that are burned by drinking<br />

cold water is too little to even<br />

make a difference. A study conducted<br />

by ScienceDirect states<br />

how they asked participants to<br />

drink 5 ml, 10 ml, 15 ml and 20<br />

Does drinking cold water actually<br />

help in weight loss? Let's find out<br />

ml of water in the morning or<br />

before lunch to see if it helps in<br />

weight loss. But the researchers<br />

found that drinking even 20 ml<br />

of water reduced very less number<br />

of calories.<br />

The main aim should be to<br />

drink enough water, be it cold or<br />

If you have a higher body mass index<br />

(BMI) then there are chances that you may<br />

have increased blood pressure (BP) too, a<br />

new study has found.<br />

The findings, published in the journal<br />

JAMA Network Open, showed a strong correlation<br />

between the degree of obesity and<br />

high blood pressure. Uncontrolled high<br />

blood pressure can lead to several cardiovascular<br />

diseases such as heart attack, stroke<br />

and heart failure. For the study, the research<br />

team involved 1.7 million Chinese men and<br />

women aged between 35 and 80 years and<br />

recorded the participants' blood pressure<br />

from <strong>September</strong> 2014 to June 2017. They<br />

observed an increase of 0.8 to 1.7 mm Hg<br />

(kg/m2) in blood pressure per additional unit<br />

of BMI in individuals who were not taking<br />

warm, to keep yourself from<br />

getting dehydrated. Did you<br />

know that drinking cold water<br />

during exercise helps in reducing<br />

dehydration, in turn making<br />

you feel less tired? Also, intake<br />

of around two to four liters of<br />

water every day will increase<br />

metabolism and flush out toxins<br />

from the body.<br />

According to a study by the<br />

University of Washington,<br />

drinking 10 cups of ice water<br />

helps burn about 80 extra calories.<br />

But it can be "easily gained<br />

back by eating one stick of<br />

string cheese, one hard-boiled<br />

egg, or one medium chocolatechip<br />

cookie. Drinking cold<br />

water makes such a small dent<br />

in the calorie balance that it will<br />

not help you lose weight if your<br />

eating and exercise pattern stay<br />

the same."<br />

Higher BMI may increase your BP as well<br />

anti-hypertensive medication. Overall, the<br />

population had a mean BMI of 24.7 and a<br />

mean systolic blood pressure of 136.5, which<br />

qualifies as stage-I hypertension, according<br />

to American Heart Association guidelines.<br />

"If trends in overweight and obesity continue<br />

in China, the implication of our study is<br />

that hypertension, already a major risk factor,<br />

is likely to become even more important,"<br />

said senior author Harlan Krumholz<br />

from Yale University in the US.<br />

"This paper is ringing the bell that the<br />

time is now to focus on these risk factors,"<br />

he added. "The enormous size of the dataset<br />

-- the result of an unprecedented effort in<br />

China -- allows us to characterise this relationship<br />

between BMI and blood pressure<br />

across tens of thousands of subgroups,<br />

which simply would not be possible in a<br />

smaller study," said author George<br />

Linderman from the varsity. This research<br />

has been supported by grants from the<br />

Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences<br />

Innovation Fund for Medical Science, the<br />

Ministry of Finance of China and the<br />

National Health and Family Planning<br />

Commission of China to name a few.

14 <strong>September</strong> <strong>2018</strong><br />

HEALTH<br />

www.theasianindependent.co.uk<br />

How diet can aid in healthy<br />

cellular ageing in women<br />

Having a diet that is rich in fruit, vegetable and whole grain and low in added sugar, sodium and<br />

processed meat could help promote healthy cellular ageing in women, a study has showed.<br />

Researchers from the University of<br />

Michigan (UM) used telomere length to<br />

measure cellular ageing -- the strongest<br />

predictor of telomere length, which<br />

shorten in length during each cell cycle,<br />

Xinhua news agency reported.<br />

The findings showed that women<br />

who followed a diet with plenty of fruit,<br />

vegetable, whole grain and plant-based<br />

protein and limited sugar, sodium and<br />

red and processed meat, had significantly<br />

with longer telomere length.<br />

In men, the findings were in the same<br />

direction, but not statistically significant.<br />

"We have seen some gender differences<br />

in previous nutrition and telomere<br />

studies. Men tended to have lower diet<br />

quality scores than women. Men also<br />

had higher intakes of sugary beverages<br />

and processed meats, both of which<br />

have been associated with shorter<br />

telomeres in prior studies," said lead<br />

author Cindy Leung, assistant professor<br />

at the UM School of Public Health.<br />

"Overall, the findings suggest that<br />

following these guidelines is associated<br />

with longer telomere length and reduces<br />

the risk of major chronic disease,"<br />

Leung added.<br />

The benefit of these healthy diet patterns<br />

is due to the fact that they are<br />

antioxidant and anti-inflammatory.<br />

They create a biochemical environment<br />

favourable to telomeres, the<br />

researchers noted, in the paper published<br />

in the American Journal of<br />

Epidemiology. Nevertheless, recent<br />

studies have shown that telomeres can<br />

also be shortened due to behavioural,<br />

environmental and psychological factors.<br />

Shorter telomeres have been associated<br />

with an increased risk for heart<br />

disease, Type-2 diabetes and some cancers.<br />

"Emphasis should be placed on<br />

improving the overall quality of your<br />

diet rather than emphasising individual<br />

foods or nutrients," Leung said.<br />

The study, examined the diets of a<br />

nationally representative sample of<br />

nearly 5,000 healthy adults and how<br />

well they scored on four evidence-based<br />

diet quality indices, including the<br />

Mediterranean diet, the DASH diet.<br />


emotional wellbeing<br />

in WOMEN<br />

Women may need a more nutrientrich<br />

diet than men to maintain positive<br />

emotional well-being, according<br />

to a study. Researchers from<br />

Binghamton University in the US<br />

conducted an anonymous survey of<br />

563 participants (48 per cent men and<br />

52 per cent women) through social<br />

media. They found that men are more<br />

likely to experience mental wellbeing<br />

until nutritional deficiencies<br />

arise. Women, however, are less likely<br />

to experience mental well-being<br />

unless a balanced diet and a healthy<br />

lifestyle are followed. The study,<br />

published in the journal Nutritional<br />

Neuroscience, may explain reports<br />

from previous studies that show<br />

women are at a greater risk for mental<br />

distress when compared to men.<br />

It emphasises the role of a nutrient-dense<br />

diet in mental wellbeing.<br />

"The biggest takeaway is that<br />

women may need a larger spectrum<br />

of nutrients to support mood, compared<br />

to men," said Lina Begdache,<br />

an assistant professor at Binghamton<br />

University. "These findings may<br />

explain the reason why women are<br />

twice more likely to be diagnosed<br />

with anxiety and depression and suffer<br />

from longer episodes, compared<br />

to men. "Today's diet is high in energy<br />

but poor in key nutrients that support<br />

brain anatomy and functionality,"<br />

Begdache said.<br />

There is no safe<br />

level of drinking<br />

alcohol : Lancet<br />

Contrary to claims that one or two<br />

glasses of wine a day keep you healthy, a<br />

study published in the prestigious journal<br />

The Lancet has warned that there is no<br />

safe level of drinking alcohol as it is<br />

associated with nearly one in 10 deaths<br />

among middle-aged people.<br />

The findings showed that any health<br />

benefits of alcohol against heart disease<br />

lems each year. "Policies focussing on<br />

reducing alcohol consumption to the<br />

lowest levels will be important to<br />

improve health. "The widely held view<br />

of the health benefits of alcohol needs<br />

revising, particularly as improved methods<br />

and analyses continue to shed light<br />

on how much alcohol contributes to<br />

global death and disability," said lead<br />

University of Washington in the US. The<br />

Global Burden of Disease study estimated<br />

the level of alcohol use and health<br />

effects in 28 million people across 195<br />

countries between 1990 and 2016. For<br />

people aged 50 and older, cancers were a<br />

leading cause of alcohol related death,<br />

constituting 27.1 per cent of deaths in<br />

women and 18.9 per cent deaths in men.<br />

and diabetes are outweighed by its author Max Griswold, from the "Worldwide we need to revisit alcohol<br />

adverse effects on other aspects of<br />

control policies and<br />

health, particularly cancers.<br />

"The conclusions of the study are<br />

clear and unambiguous: alcohol is a<br />

colossal global health issue and<br />

small reductions in health-related<br />

harms at low levels of alcohol intake<br />

are outweighed by the increased risk<br />

health programmes, and<br />

to consider recommendations<br />

for abstaining<br />

from alcohol. "These<br />

include excise taxes on<br />

alcohol, controlling the<br />

physical availability of<br />

of other health-related harms,<br />

alcohol and the hours of<br />

including cancer," said Robyn<br />

Burton, from the King's College<br />

London. Globally, one in three people<br />

sale, and controlling<br />

alcohol advertising. Any<br />

of these policy actions<br />

(32.5 per cent) drink alcohol --<br />

would contribute to<br />

equivalent to 2.4 billion people --<br />

including 25 per cent of women (0.9<br />

billion women) and 39 per cent of<br />

men (1.5 billion men).<br />

reductions in population-level<br />

consumption,<br />

a vital step toward<br />

decreasing the health<br />

Consequently, 2.2 per cent of<br />

loss associated with<br />

women and 6.8 per cent of men died<br />

alcohol use," the<br />

from alcohol-related health prob-<br />

researchers said.

www.theasianindependent.co.uk<br />

HEALTH<br />

<strong>September</strong> <strong>2018</strong><br />

15<br />

New way to attack<br />

herpes virus discovered<br />

by scientists<br />

into a human cell. Instead, it carries<br />

its viral DNA into the cell virus. To confirm their find-<br />

and continue creating a new<br />

along with proteins called PP71. ings, the team created a synthetic<br />

version of the virus that<br />

After entering the cell, it releases<br />

these PP71 proteins, which allowed them to adjust the levels<br />

of the IE1 proteins using<br />

enables the viral DNA to replicate<br />

and the infection to spread. small molecules. With this<br />

Normally, when a virus<br />

enters your cell, that cell<br />

blocks the virus's DNA and<br />

prevents it from performing<br />

any actions. A team of scientists<br />

have uncovered the mechanism<br />

that allows the herpes<br />

virus to replicate. Their study<br />

could open new therapeutic<br />

avenues to treat not only<br />

cytomegalovirus but other<br />

viruses as well.<br />

Human cytomegalovirus is a<br />

leading cause of birth defects<br />

and transplant failures. As it's<br />

evolved over time, this virus<br />

from the herpes family has<br />

found a way to bypass the<br />

body's defense mechanisms that<br />

usually guard against viral<br />

infections. Until now, scientists<br />

couldn't understand how it manages<br />

to do so. Normally, when a<br />

virus enters your cell, that cell<br />

blocks the virus's DNA and prevents<br />

it from performing any<br />

actions. The virus must overcome<br />

this barrier to effectively<br />

multiply. To get around this<br />

obstacle, cytomegalovirus doesn't<br />

simply inject its own DNA<br />

The researchers found that,<br />

while PP71 is still present in<br />

the cell, it activates another<br />

protein known as IE1. This<br />

happens within the first few<br />

hours of the virus entering the<br />

cell, allowing the IE1 protein<br />

to take over after PP71 dies<br />

technique, they could let the<br />

virus infect the cell while controlling<br />

how quickly the IE1<br />

protein would break down in<br />

the cell. The first author of the<br />

new study Noam Vardi said,<br />

"We noticed that when the IE1<br />

protein degrades slowly, as it<br />

normally does, the virus can<br />

replicate very efficiently. But if<br />

the protein breaks down faster,<br />

the virus can't multiply as well.<br />

So, we confirmed that the virus<br />

needs the IE1 protein to successfully<br />

replicate."<br />

This study could have broad<br />

implications for the scientific<br />

community, which has been<br />

struggling to determine how<br />

cells maintain their identity<br />

over time. During development,<br />

for instance, stem cells choose a<br />

path based on the proteins that<br />

surround them. But even after<br />

these initial proteins disappear,<br />

the specialized cells don't<br />

change. So, stem cells that turn<br />

into neurons during development<br />

continue to be neurons<br />

long after those proteins are<br />

gone. The new study could lead<br />

to a new therapeutic target to<br />

attack cytomegalovirus and<br />

other herpesviruses, such as<br />

Epstein-Barr virus that causes<br />

mononucleosis and herpes<br />

simplex virus 1 and 2 that produce<br />

most cold sores and genital<br />

herpes.<br />

'New drugs may help<br />

smokers kick the butt'<br />

Scientists say they have<br />

developed over a dozen drugs<br />

which may help smokers reduce<br />

their consumption of tobacco, if<br />

not quit altogether. The<br />

researchers from the<br />

Washington State University in<br />

the US created the substances<br />

with the potential to curb smokers'<br />

desire for nicotine by slowing<br />

how it is broken down in the<br />

body. The finding, published in<br />

the Journal of Medicinal<br />

Chemistry, targets a liver<br />

enzyme, called CYP2A6, which<br />

metabolises nicotine. Nicotine<br />

triggers the release of dopamine<br />

and serotonin, two pleasure<br />

causing chemicals produced by<br />

the body. However, as it gets<br />

metabolised, users can experience<br />

withdrawal symptoms like<br />

tingling in the hands and feet,<br />

sweating, anxiety and irritability.<br />

This is the feeling that the<br />

researchers are targeting, said<br />

Travis Denton, an assistant professor<br />

at the Washington State<br />

University. Denton and Philip<br />

Lazarus, a professor of pharmaceutical<br />

sciences, designed<br />

dozens of molecules that bind<br />

to CYP2A6 and inhibit its ability<br />

to metabolise nicotine.<br />

"If you inhibit CYP2A6, it<br />

should not bother your overall<br />

health," said Lazarus. "If we<br />

could specifically target this<br />

enzyme, people should be fine,<br />

and it will possibly help them<br />

stop smoking or at least<br />

decrease their amount of smoking,"<br />

he said. The researchers<br />

have tested their candidate<br />

drugs to make sure they do not<br />

disrupt other major enzymes<br />

that help the body metabolise<br />

other substances.<br />

This helped narrow the number<br />

of potential drugs down to<br />

18. Once the US Food and<br />

Drug Administration (FDA)<br />

verifies a drug's safety,<br />

clinical trials would begin to<br />

see how it works in a human,<br />

researchers said.<br />

Brain tumours may occur<br />

in children with common<br />

genetic SYNDROME<br />

Parents, please take note. The frequency of<br />

brain tumours has been underestimated in children<br />

with the common genetic syndrome-neurofibromatosis<br />

type 1 (NF1), a new study has<br />

found. According to the researchers, this disorder<br />

is characterised by birthmarks on the skin and<br />

benign nerve tumours that develop in or on the<br />

skin. Brain tumours are<br />

also known to occur in<br />

children and adults<br />

with NF1. They estimated<br />

that only 15-20<br />

per cent of kids with<br />

NF1 develop brain<br />

tumours. But the<br />

study, published in the<br />

journal Neurology:<br />

Clinical Practice,<br />

found that the frequency<br />

of brain tumours in<br />

this population was<br />

more than three times<br />

higher.<br />

"I'm not delivering<br />

the message anymore<br />

that brain tumours are rare in NF1. This study<br />

has changed how I decide which children need<br />

more surveillance and when to let the neurooncologists<br />

know that we may have a problem,"<br />

said senior author David H. Gutmann from the<br />

Washington University School of Medicine.<br />

Brain Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scans<br />

of children with NF1 characteristically show<br />

bright spots that are absent in the scans of unaffected<br />

children. Unlike tumours, they are generally<br />

thought to disappear in teenage years, the<br />

researchers said. Since brain tumours can be confused<br />

with harmless bright spots, it has never<br />

been clear whether finding these abnormalities<br />

via MRI should be a<br />

cause for concern, they<br />

added. For the study, the<br />

team developed a set of<br />

criteria to distinguish<br />

tumours from other<br />

bright spots. The<br />

researchers then<br />

analysed scans from 68<br />

NF1 patients and 46<br />

children without NF1<br />

for comparison.<br />

All but four (94 per<br />

cent) of the children<br />

with NF1 had bright<br />

spots, and none of the<br />

children without NF1<br />

did. Further, in 57 per<br />

cent of the children with bright spots, at least one<br />

of the spots was deemed likely to be a tumour,<br />

the research team found. Applying the new criteria<br />

to MRI scans will help physicians identify<br />

probable tumours, but that does not mean that all<br />

children with NF1 should be scanned regularly,<br />

the researchers cautioned.

16 <strong>September</strong> <strong>2018</strong><br />

WORLD<br />

www.theasianindependent.co.uk<br />

Dutch anti-<br />

Islam lawmaker<br />

cancels Prophet<br />

Muhammad<br />

cartoon contest<br />

Amsterdam : Dutch anti-<br />

Islam lawmaker Geert<br />

Wilders has cancelled a<br />

scheduled Prophet<br />

Muhammad cartoon contest<br />

in the capital here in<br />

November following widespread<br />

protest in Pakistan that<br />

raised concerns over security<br />

to the participants.<br />

The far-right opposition<br />

Dutch lawmaker, who for<br />

years has lived under roundthe-clock<br />

protection because<br />

of death threats sparked by his<br />

fierce anti-Islam rhetoric,<br />

cancelled the event following<br />

concerns of extreme threat<br />

after a 26-year-old Pakistani<br />

man was arrested who<br />

allegedly planned an attack on<br />

Wilders. “To avoid the risk of<br />

victims of Islamic violence, I<br />

have decided not to let the<br />

cartoon contest go ahead,”<br />

Geert Wilders said in a written<br />

statement, noting he did<br />

not want others endangered<br />

by the contest he had planned<br />

for November.<br />

The contest was to have<br />

been held at the tightly guarded<br />

offices of his Party for<br />

Freedom in the Dutch parliament<br />

building.<br />

“It’s not just about me,”<br />

Wilders, who has a history of<br />

inflammatory statements<br />

about Islam, said in the statement.<br />

Strong opponents of the<br />

event “see not only me, but<br />

the entire Netherlands as a<br />

target”. He followed up the<br />

statement later on Thursday<br />

with a tweet saying: “Islam<br />

showed its true face once<br />

again with death threats, fatwas<br />

and violence. However,<br />

the safety and security of my<br />

fellow countrymen comes<br />

first.” The Dutch government<br />

had been at pains to distance<br />

itself from the contest. Prime<br />

Minister Mark Rutte last<br />

week questioned Wilders’<br />

motive for organising the contest.<br />

“His aim is not to have a<br />

debate about Islam. His aim is<br />

to be provocative,” Rutte said.<br />

The planned contest<br />

sparked a death threat this<br />

week from a 26-year-old man,<br />

reportedly a Pakistani, who<br />

was arrested Tuesday in The<br />

Hague. On Wednesday, thousands<br />

of Islamists set off on a<br />

protest march to Pakistan’s<br />

capital Islamabad demanding<br />

Imran Khan’s new government<br />

sever diplomatic ties<br />

with the Netherlands over the<br />

“blasphemous” competition.<br />

Myanmar rejects UN accusations of genocide<br />

Naypyidaw : Myanmar on<br />

Wednesday rejected a UN report that<br />

said there was evidence of genocide in<br />

the military operation carried out by the<br />

Myanmar government against the<br />

Muslim Rohingya minority.<br />

"We didn't allow the FFM (Fact<br />

Finding Mission) to enter into<br />

Myanmar, that's why we don't agree and<br />

accept any resolutions made by the<br />

Human Rights Council," Myanmar's<br />

newspaper Global New Light quoted<br />

government spokesperson Zaw Htay as<br />

saying.<br />

On Monday, UN experts reported<br />

that there is evidence of intentional<br />

genocide and crimes against humanity<br />

perpetrated on a large scale.<br />

The mission condemned the government<br />

of Nobel Peace laureate Aung San<br />

Suu Kyi for failing to stop the violence<br />

and recommended the establishment of<br />

an international court to investigate and prosecute the alleged perpetrators belonging to the armed forces. Htay said<br />

Trump accuses China<br />

of stalling progress<br />

with N.Korea<br />

Washington : US President Donald<br />

Trump has lashed out at China for undermining<br />

its work with North Korea, as criticism<br />

over progress on denuclearisation on<br />

the Korean peninsula mounts. In a series of<br />

tweets Trump said he saw no reason to<br />

resume the joint war<br />

games with South Korea<br />

that have angered North<br />

Korea, BBC reported.<br />

Days ago Trump's<br />

Defence Secretary Jim<br />

Mattis said that military<br />

exercises might continue<br />

with South Korea. In his<br />

tweets Trump accused<br />

Beijing of providing<br />

North Korea with "considerable<br />

aid", suggesting<br />

China was softening the<br />

blow of sanctions. "This is not helpful!"<br />

Trump said. China has accused Trump of<br />

"shifting blame" on its relations with North<br />

Korea. A summit between Trump and<br />

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in June<br />

concluded with a pledge from North Korea<br />

to work towards "the complete denuclearisation<br />

of the Korean peninsula". But since<br />

then many observers say North Korea is<br />

not moving fast enough to dismantle its<br />

nuclear sites.<br />

Days ago, Washington called off a trip<br />

to North Korea by US Secretary of State<br />

Mike Pompeo with the President arguing<br />

that insufficient progress had been made in<br />

dismantling the North's<br />

nuclear programme.<br />

Since the June summit,<br />

North Korea has<br />

halted its missile tests,<br />

claimed to have dismantled<br />

a nuclear testing<br />

site and returned the<br />

remains of US soldiers<br />

killed in the Korean<br />

War. A report by Vox<br />

suggests that<br />

Pyongyang is reluctant<br />

to proceed with denuclearisation<br />

because Trump failed to live<br />

up to his alleged promise to Kim that he<br />

would sign an official declaration to end<br />

the Korean War. After a UN report found<br />

that North Korea was continuing to work<br />

on its nuclear programme, the US urged the<br />

international community to maintain sanctions<br />

and economic pressure on<br />

Pyongyang.<br />

Washington, Actress Anne<br />

Hathaway will be honoured with the<br />

Human Rights Campaign (HRC)<br />

National Equality Award here on<br />

<strong>September</strong> 15.<br />

The “Bride Wars” actress will receive<br />

the award for her humanitarian work<br />

that she has done for the society, especially<br />

with with women and the LGBTQ<br />

Samsung launches<br />

'Android Go' budget<br />

smartphone in India<br />

New Delhi : Samsung India on Tuesday launched<br />

its first "Android Go" budget smartphone named<br />

"Galaxy J2 Core" in the country for Rs 6,190.<br />

Android Oreo (Go) is essentially made for entrylevel<br />

Android smartphones with less than 1GB RAM<br />

and hence uses less storage space, less memory and<br />

still functions smoothly. "We are pleased to integrate<br />

industry-first smart memory management solutions<br />

that allow apps or content on the memory card. We<br />

are also partnering with Google in bringing the latest<br />

Android experience for entry-level smartphones<br />

with Android Oreo (Go Edition) on Galaxy 'J2<br />

Core'," Sumit Walia, Director, Mobile business,<br />

Samsung India, said in a statement.<br />

The smartphone features 8MP rear camera and<br />

5MP front camera and comes with a 5-inch display.<br />

The device is powered by Samsung's proprietary<br />

Exynos processor that is especially tuned for<br />

Android Oreo (Go Edition), the company claimed.<br />

The device comes with 1GB RAM and 8GB internal<br />

memory which can be expanded up to 256GB via<br />

an external memory card. "J2 COre" Android Go<br />

smartphone is available in gold, blue and black<br />

colours across all retail stores and Samsung's e-shop<br />

website. Originally announced at Google I/O 2017<br />

annual developer conference, this OS is a toned<br />

down version of the latest Android Oreo OS which is<br />

currently present in high-end devices.<br />

community, reports variety.com.<br />

Acknowleging Hathaway’s contribution<br />

for the society, HRC President<br />

Chad Griffin said: “Through her incredible<br />

talent and bold activism, Anne<br />

Hathaway uses her global platform to<br />

stand up for the LGBTQ community.<br />

“From speaking out against discriminatory<br />

legislation targeting the LGBTQ<br />

that the government has already formed<br />

an independent commission to "respond<br />

to false allegations made by the UN<br />

agencies and other international communities".<br />

Myanmar does not recognize<br />

the Rohingyas as one of the nation's ethnic<br />

groups but considers them to be illegal<br />

Bangladeshi immigrants, subjecting<br />

them to various kinds of discrimination.<br />

Both the army and the Myanmar government<br />

have rejected all accusations of<br />

human rights violations.<br />

Humanitarian NGO, Doctors Without<br />

Borders, estimated that at least 6,700<br />

Rohingyas, including 730 children<br />

under the age of five, died as a result of<br />

the violence unleashed by the military<br />

offensive.<br />

Soldiers have been accused of committing<br />

murders, mass rapes and burning<br />

the homes of the Rohingyas in<br />

Myanmar's Rakhine state, the home of<br />

this ethnic minority community.<br />

17 killed<br />

in<br />

Ethiopian<br />

military<br />

helicopter<br />

crash<br />

Addis Ababa :<br />

All the 17 persons<br />

on-board were killed<br />

when an Ethiopian<br />

military helicopter<br />

crashed in Oromia<br />

regional state on<br />

Thursday, Ethiopia<br />

News Agency<br />

(ENA) reported. The<br />

Ethiopian Air Force<br />

helicopter had taken<br />

off early on<br />

Thursday from the<br />

city of Dire Dawa<br />

and was scheduled<br />

to arrive at the country's<br />

main Air Force<br />

base in Debre Zeit<br />

when it crashed<br />

about 50 km from its<br />

destination, Xinhua<br />

news agency reported.<br />

Among the 17<br />

dead were two children<br />

and two<br />

women. An investigation<br />

is underway<br />

to determine the<br />

cause of the crash,<br />

ENA reported.<br />



community to her leadership on workplace<br />

equality for women, Anne is making<br />

a real difference in the lives of<br />

countless people around the globe.”<br />

Earlier this year, Hathaway was also<br />

appointed as UN Women’s Global<br />

Ambassador, where her work involves<br />

supporting women’s equality in the<br />


www.theasianindependent.co.uk<br />


Knew 'Yamla Pagla Deewana 2'<br />

turned out to be bad : Dharmendra<br />

Veteran actor Dharmendra says<br />

"Yamla Pagla Deewana" was born out<br />

of a desire to make a comedy but while<br />

shooting for the sequel of the film, he<br />

realised that it was not turning out to be<br />

as expected.<br />

The Deols- Dharmendra and two<br />

sons, Sunny and Bobby-came together<br />

on screen for the first time in 2006 with<br />

the family drama "Apne".<br />

They followed it up with the comedy<br />

"Yamla Pagla Deewana" in 2011, which<br />

was a huge hit but its sequel did not do<br />

well at the box office. "'Apne' had made<br />

people cry so I told someone that next<br />

time I'll make you laugh. We didn't even have a<br />

script or anything ready then. We made 'Yamla<br />

Pagla Deewana' one. But there's this 'beemari' of<br />

franchise and sequel. We don't understand business,"<br />

Dharmendra told.<br />

"We had to make a sequel but it was taking<br />

time, things were not falling into place and then<br />

Eva Longoria<br />

joins 'Dora<br />

the Explorer'<br />

Hollywood star Eva Longoria has joined the<br />

voice cast of Paramount's live-action feature<br />

"Dora the Explorer". Longoria will portray the<br />

mother of the title character. According to the<br />

Hollywood Reporter, the movie is currently in<br />

production in Australia with James Bobin<br />

attached to direct. Isabela Moner is playing<br />

Dora in the movie version of the hit cartoon<br />

series. Kristin Burr is producing the project,<br />

which has been in the works since 2015. The<br />

animated "Dora the Explorer" television<br />

series ran on Nickelodeon from 2000-2014<br />

for eight seasons. It followed a young<br />

Latina girl who went on adventures around the world. The movie will<br />

centre on Dora as a teenager moving to the city and dealing with high<br />

school. She finds herself leading Boots (her best friend, a monkey),<br />

and a rag tag group of teens on an adventure to save her parents and<br />

solve the impossible mystery behind a lost Inca civilization.<br />

Physical appearance<br />

is an illusion:<br />

Sonakshi Sinha<br />

Actress Sonakshi Sinha, who has been often body-shamed on social<br />

media, says there is so much more to a person than their looks and that<br />

physical appearance is just an illusion. In a conversation with BIG FM,<br />

Sonakshi said: “There is so much more to a person than their looks.<br />

I am someone who has been on the other side and thus seen both<br />

sides of the coin. I have grown up as an over-weight teenager.<br />

It was not ever a problem for me. It didn’t used to matter that<br />

how fat I am and how much kilos I need to shed which actually<br />

people were pointing out to me.”<br />

The “Dabangg” actress says her weight and looks was<br />

such a small thing in comparison to the skills she is<br />

blessed with. “I used to focus on other things which I am<br />

good at. That way I never felt pressurised to get slim,”<br />

she added. Sonakshi, 31, says even after shedding<br />

enough weight and becoming an actor, she has made<br />

sure to project a healthy body image. “And come<br />

across as a good impression for people especially girls<br />

who get easily influenced at a very young age. I understand<br />

this considering, that I too wished to look like<br />

these slim models which would appear on these fashion<br />

magazines in my younger days. Physical appearance is an<br />

illusion. It is unrealistic.<br />

Singer and actor Suchitra<br />

Krishnamoorthi, younger sister of<br />

actor Sujata Kumar, has spoken<br />

about her bond with her sister, saying<br />

that the latter raised her and<br />

was her best friend. Speaking to<br />

Mumbai Mirror, Suchitra gave us a<br />

peek into the woman Sujata was.<br />

Suchitra mentions how she was a<br />

compassionate soul who was<br />

always there for those who needed<br />

her and how she “touched many<br />

lives with her vivacity and generosity”.<br />

In one of her tweets from the hospital<br />

while Sujata was still fighting for her life,<br />

Suchitra mentioned how Sujata was like a<br />

mother and best friend to her. In her Mumbai<br />

Mirror interview, she explained further on<br />

the bond their shared.<br />

“My sister practically raised me and was<br />

my best friend. She loved unconditionally<br />

even the screenplay wasn't good. I knew while<br />

doing the film that it's rubbish and had told the<br />

crew that I'm not enjoying shooting it. One<br />

knows whether it's going right or not," he added.<br />

The trio are set to reunite for "Yamla Pagla<br />

Deewana: Phir Se" and Dharmendra hopes the<br />

audience enjoys the third part. "I heard this story<br />

several times and I liked it. I really enjoyed listening<br />

to the script and we all have tried<br />

to make it as nice as possible. Hope the<br />

audience enjoys it now." The 82-yearold<br />

actor is excited to return to a fullfledged<br />

film after a gap of five years.<br />

"I've worked in two shifts, three shifts<br />

for 25 years now. I am enjoying this<br />

phase currently. I am fulfilling my<br />

hobby. Acting is my 'mehbooba' (lover)<br />

and I can't stay away from it for too<br />

long. I'm very fortunate to be in films.<br />

You get love, admiration and what not<br />

from all over the world. It's a great<br />

blessing of God," he said. The actor is<br />

also excited to see how audience reacts<br />

to some of the cameos in the film, including<br />

Salman Khan, Rekha, Shatrughan Sinha and<br />

Sonakshi in third instalment ot "Yamla Pagla<br />

Deewana: Phir Se." "Shatru and I have a good<br />

chemistry. We were in 'Dost' and several other<br />

films. Timing is the key in comedy. I am hopeful<br />

people will enjoy it," he added.<br />

and gave so much to everyone in her orbit<br />

that she would often run out of energy herself.<br />

But I never imagined that she would one<br />

day no longer be a part of my life; its unbearable<br />

to even think about.” Suchitra said in all<br />

these years she had taken her sister’s goodness<br />

for granted. Sujata would often tell her,<br />

“Be bindaas” and that’s the motto she would<br />

<strong>September</strong> <strong>2018</strong><br />

17<br />

WONDER,<br />

once AGAIN<br />

Gal said in a statement that her character (Shank) has<br />

a bad-girl vibe from the outside but is fun, wise, and<br />

warm within. She also posted a teaser of the animated<br />

film. The plot revolves around Ralph's, played by John<br />

C. Reilly, adventures in the online racing game Slaughter<br />

Race. Director Rich Moore, talking about Shank's character,<br />

said she is a combination of cool and kind.<br />

The voice cast also includes Sarah Silverman. The<br />

film is a sequel to 2012 Oscar-nominated ‘Wreck-It<br />

Ralph'. The movie is scheduled to release on November<br />

21, <strong>2018</strong>. — The Wonder Woman actress confirmed the<br />

news with an Instagram post, captioned, “I'm so excited<br />

to finally announce that I am playing a character named<br />

Shank in Disney's #RalphBreaksTheInternet hitting theatres<br />

this November! Such an amazing experience to be<br />

a part of this project with such great creators and cast!<br />

Welcome to Slaughter Race!” Opening up about the<br />

project, Gal said in a statement that her character (Shank)<br />

has a bad-girl vibe from the outside but is fun, wise, and<br />

warm within. She also posted a teaser of the animated<br />

film. The plot revolves around Ralph's, played by John<br />

C. Reilly, adventures in the online racing game Slaughter<br />

Race. Director Rich Moore, talking about Shank's character,<br />

said she is a combination of cool and kind.<br />



American actor Paul Rudd will soon be seen in a Netflix<br />

comedy series titled ‘Living With Yourself’. He will be<br />

working with critically acclaimed feature film ‘Little Miss<br />

Sunshine’ directors’ Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris.<br />

The series ‘Living With Yourself’ revolves around a man,<br />

who undergoes a treatment to become a better person. The<br />

series will have eight episodes where Rudd will play a dual<br />

role. ‘Living With Yourself’ series will also have Timothy<br />

Greenberg, who will also serve as executive producer and<br />

showrunner. Rudd was last seen in Marvel’s Ant-Man and<br />

the Wasp which he co-wrote. Also, his most recent TV stint<br />

came on Netflix when he played as Andy in ‘Wet Hot<br />

American Summer’ reboot.<br />

Suchitra Krishnamoorthi on sister Sujata Kumar’s<br />

death : Never imagined life without her<br />

like to follow. However, she would<br />

miss Sujata’s “quiet wisdom as<br />

much as her raucous laughter.”<br />

She spoke in glowing terms<br />

about her sister’s quite courage; of<br />

how she spirituality and her “tenacity<br />

of an unrelenting warrior”. She<br />

also said mentioned how Sujata was<br />

an emancipated woman even before<br />

people understood the meaning of<br />

the terms women’s liberation.<br />

Sujata died on August 19 after<br />

battling cancer for many years. In<br />

one of her last speeches that has surfaced<br />

now, she can be seen speaking on emotional<br />

abuse, her divorce and of course, battling<br />

cancer. Her honesty and her courage<br />

shines through as she speaks. Sujata had<br />

been an actor for quite some time, however,<br />

it was after Gauri Shinde cast her as Sridevi’s<br />

caring elder sister in English Vinglish that<br />

she became a well known face.

18 <strong>September</strong> <strong>2018</strong><br />


www.theasianindependent.co.uk<br />

Ali is all kicked up<br />

Ali Fazal is a sports enthusiast and has been associated<br />

with basketball and football since his school and<br />

college days. There was a<br />

time when he hoped to represent<br />

India as a basketball<br />

player but destiny brought<br />

him to tinsel town and the<br />

rest is history.<br />

Lucknow being Ali's<br />

hometown, it holds an<br />

important place in his heart<br />

and the actor considers it<br />

his responsibility to give<br />

back in some way or<br />

another. What better way<br />

than to mentor some local<br />

young football players who<br />

work really hard to get the<br />

basic facilities to play the game they love. Ali, like a<br />

good Samaritan, took the onus to represent the young<br />

lads as their mentor while shooting for his film in<br />

Lucknow. Even after the completion of his film, Ali<br />

will continue mentoring these talented kids till the<br />

time their potential is recognised by professional football<br />

clubs of India.<br />

KJo tells Ayushmann<br />

how to keep extra<br />

marital affairs at bay<br />

This happened as part of the second season of ISHQ 104.8<br />

FM's popular show "Calling<br />

Karan". Ayushmann, worried about Actor<br />

how women approach him for extra<br />

Ayushmann<br />

marital affair, asked Karan: "How<br />

should I say no to women who call Khurrana turned<br />

me for extra marital affairs? Politely to Karan Johar on<br />

turning them down that you know I<br />

advice on how to<br />

am a married man... How should I<br />

do this?" Karan had a quick solution keep extra-marital<br />

to Ayushmann's problem, read a affairs, and the<br />

statement.<br />

filmmaker was<br />

"For the girls in the world to<br />

know that there are men like you quick to give suggestions.<br />

too that actually want to give an<br />

alarm sound to those who are hitting<br />

on you, do so by saying that<br />

'Listen I am married'. Well it's very simple, it's the oldest trick in<br />

the world, Ayushmann. "Just laugh at something she says. Like<br />

'Oh God, you are so funny! My wife would love you'. Or something<br />

similar, like 'Oh! You look so pretty, where did you get it?<br />

I want to gift something like this to my wife'. There are a hundred<br />

ways of telling her that you have a wife."<br />

Actor Pooja Hegde said<br />

filmmaker Imtiaz Ali<br />

writes amazing characters<br />

and she would love to<br />

work with the Jab We<br />

Met and Rockstar director.<br />

The other thing on<br />

her to-do wish list is<br />

to make Children's<br />

films. Also, Pooja,<br />

who originally<br />

hails from the<br />

coastal town of<br />

'Why can't a Maharashtrian<br />

actor play a North Indian?'<br />

Actor Radhika Apte has now become a name to be reckoned<br />

with in the film industry, thanks to her films such as Badlapur<br />

(2012), Pad Man, and the much talkedabout web series, Sacred<br />

Games. But in 2010, when she was starting out, the 32-yearold<br />

actor was stereotyped, which, according to her, was "hypocritical"<br />

of the industry. "Initially, when I started, I had a few issues. Like<br />

[people] constantly would tell me that you can't play a North<br />

Indian, because you are a Maharashtrian. And now, a North Indian<br />

is playing Rani Laxmibai," she says, referring to Kangana<br />

Ranaut playing the role of Jhansi ki Rani in her upcoming<br />

film, Manikarnika. "So, why is it that you have a problem,<br />

when it is the other way round?" asks Radhika.<br />

The actor, who was born in Vellore (Tamil Nadu) but<br />

brought up in Pune (Maharashtra), feels that one shouldn't<br />

restrict artists. "We've had North Indian actors play<br />

South Indian characters. And that's good. That's how it<br />

should be. Actors shouldn't be restricted on the basis of<br />

where they come from, and [be] cast on that basis,"<br />

says Radhika. "Of course, there's a lot of hard work<br />

that goes into preparing for such characters. For<br />

example, if I'm playing a Punjabi character, wouldn't<br />

I work for two months to learn the language, and<br />

other little details of [being] a Punjabi?" she adds.<br />

However, she says that after years in the industry, she<br />

has moved on from all that.<br />

'Imtiaz brings out the<br />

best in every actor'<br />

Mangaluru in<br />

Karnataka,<br />

hopes she gets<br />

offers to do<br />

Kannada and<br />

Malayalam films.<br />

"I would love to work with Imtiaz Ali,<br />

and I would like to make children's<br />

films, that's on my list", Pooja, who<br />

made her Bollywood debut with<br />

Mohenjo Daro (2016), co-starring<br />

Hrithik Roshan, said. "I think he (Ali)<br />

writes amazing characters, whether it's<br />

the character of Geet (Kareena Kapoor)<br />

in Jab We Met, Alia Bhatt's in Highway<br />

and Ranbir Kapoor in Rockstar," she<br />

said. "I just think he somehow brings out<br />

the best performance in every actor, and<br />

I would love to see how he does that<br />

with me."<br />

Pooja says without a 'godfather', it's<br />

not easy to come up in the film industry<br />

and success is slower but she isn't complaining.<br />

"When you get success, it is<br />

sweeter. I know that whatever I have<br />

done, I have done on my own, because<br />

of my own capability and not because of<br />

anything else than that. Success is slow<br />

but sweeter", she said. Pooja said it was<br />

"absolute laugh and fun" working on the<br />

sets of Housefull 4, produced by Sajid<br />

Nadiadwala and directed by Sajid Khan,<br />

during the recent shooting in London,<br />

with "silly jokes and pranks" of Akshay<br />

Kumar, Riteish Deshmukh and Sajid<br />

Khan in full flow.<br />

On key takeaways from her film<br />

career so far, she said, "Success and failure<br />

are both short-lived, and success<br />

brings in more success, and at the end of<br />

the day it's all about talent."<br />

Aniston’s trainer<br />

says ‘she’s a<br />

natural athlete’<br />

Actress Jennifer Aniston is a<br />

very good natural athlete, says<br />

her trainer Leyon Azubuike. The<br />

actress had previously opened<br />

up about her love for boxing.<br />

Azubuike co-owns the boxing<br />

studio and athletic performance<br />

facility Gloveworx here.<br />

Azubuike said working with<br />

Aniston has been a “great experience”,<br />

reports people.com.<br />

“She’s very diligent. She is<br />

ready to work out hard, every<br />

single time she hits the gym,” Azubuike said. “Whether it be a 45-minute session,<br />

whether it be a 2-hour session, she is always ready to go. Incredibly consistent<br />

and hardworking, and that makes my job a little bit easier. She’s a very<br />

good, natural athlete,” he added.<br />

Shweta Tiwari set to return<br />

to theatre after a hiatus<br />

Actress Shweta Tiwari is returning<br />

day couples whose lives are woven in<br />

to the stage after a long time, with “Jab<br />

the fragile thread of mistrust.<br />

We Separated”, a production penned<br />

It’s a reflection of a contemporary<br />

and directed by veteran Rakesh Bedi.<br />

society that when confronted with infidelity<br />

or regular nagging, today’s<br />

She is excited about performing for a<br />

live audience. Shweta said in a statement:<br />

“Many years ago, I did a play at<br />

cut available — divorce.<br />

young couples resort to the only short-<br />

Prithvi Theatre and there a director<br />

It will be staged in New Delhi on<br />

spotted me and offered me ‘Rishtey’.<br />

<strong>September</strong> 8 and <strong>September</strong> 9.<br />

That’s how my TV career started and<br />

Talking about the play’s subject,<br />

after ‘Kasautii Zindagii Kay’, there<br />

Rakesh said: “Divorce today is one of<br />

has been been no looking back.”<br />

the most burning social issues in our<br />

A major draw for her theatre comeback<br />

was Rakesh. “After a long hiatus,<br />

matrimony and how young couples<br />

society. The play explores discord in<br />

I am returning to theatre with ‘Jab We<br />

today have lost faith in the concept of<br />

Separated’ and it is especially since it<br />

love, compassion and forgiveness.<br />

was Rakeshji who offered me this him brings out the best in an actor. “The court gives the warring couples<br />

six months to reconcile. But do<br />

challenging role. Every actor has their However, impressing him is a task.”<br />

limitations and weaknesses, but not Presented by Felicity Theatre, “Jab We they really work on it? In this play we<br />

every actor is capable of rectifying Separated” also features Rakesh himself<br />

apart from Rahul Bhuchar. The He says it was an enriching experi-<br />

try to find answers to such questions.”<br />

their mistakes, and that’s exactly what<br />

Rakeshji taught me. “Working with play depicts the mindset of modern ence to work with Shweta and Rahul.

www.theasianindependent.co.uk<br />

TECH<br />

<strong>September</strong> <strong>2018</strong><br />

19<br />

No file on<br />

CCTVs<br />

pending with<br />

us: Delhi L-G<br />

New Delhi : Delhi Lt<br />

Governor Anil Baijal's office<br />

on Monday said that no file<br />

related to installation of<br />

CCTVs across the national<br />

capital is pending with it.<br />

"A misleading impression is<br />

being created through certain<br />

media posts and releases that<br />

the file for the installation of<br />

closed-circuit televisions in<br />

Delhi is pending with the office<br />

of the Lt Governor. "It is clarified<br />

that this is incorrect. No<br />

file pertaining to CCTVs is<br />

pending with the L-G's office,"<br />

the Raj Niwas said in a statement<br />

here. The women MLAs<br />

of the Aam Aadmi Party posted<br />

videos on the social media on<br />

Raksha Bandhan on Sunday to<br />

demand that the L-G should<br />

not hamper the CCTV installation<br />

project.<br />

PUNJAB rolls out module for<br />

online property transactions<br />

Chandigarh : The Punjab government<br />

on Thursday launched a facility for online<br />

property transactions in the state to bring<br />

efficiency and transparency in the system.<br />

Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder<br />

Singh launched the 'PUDA 360', an e-<br />

properties module to facilitate online<br />

property transactions, here.<br />

The facility is being provided by the<br />

Punjab Urban Planning and Development<br />

Authority (PUDA). The Chief Minister<br />

said that the application would go a long<br />

way in providing seamless services to the<br />

San Francisco : Facebook<br />

has restored the cross-posted<br />

tweets of its users that temporarily<br />

disappeared following the<br />

removal of the Twitter app from<br />

Facebook, the media reported.<br />

Twitter requested the deletion<br />

of its app from Facebook as it<br />

became useless there earlier this<br />

month following Facebook's<br />

move to give effect to an earlier<br />

decision to remove a feature that<br />

allowed people to cross-post<br />

updates from Twitter, Axios<br />

reported on Wednesday. But little<br />

did it know that the removal<br />

people related to property<br />

matters.<br />

"The online process<br />

would also make the e-<br />

auction more convenient<br />

and give a common platform<br />

to the<br />

promoters/builders/individuals<br />

for advertising<br />

their projects and properties<br />

online," Amarinder<br />

said on the occasion.<br />

Besides improving the<br />

of the app would delete any old<br />

posts of its users from<br />

Facebook.<br />

The users who found out on<br />

Tuesday that some of their old<br />

cross-posted tweets went missing<br />

from Facebook were surprised<br />

too, the report said. "A<br />

Twitter admin requested their<br />

delivery of PUDA<br />

services, it would help<br />

check delays in sanction<br />

of building plans,<br />

issuance of No<br />

Objection Certificate,<br />

issuance of<br />

Conveyance Deed<br />

and Transfer of<br />

Property etc. All these<br />

services are currently<br />

offered offline, a<br />

Punjab government<br />

Facebook restores cross-posted<br />

tweets that disappeared<br />

spokesperson said here. The Chief Minister<br />

said the applicants would now get the<br />

option of submitting applications through<br />

online or offline systems. "The facility<br />

would save precious time and money for<br />

the allottees," he added. "Complete details<br />

like the nature of the property i.e. residential<br />

or commercial, plots or flats, area and<br />

location, name of the builder or owner, status<br />

of RERA registration would be<br />

uploaded on the module," Housing and<br />

Urban Development Minister Tript<br />

Rajinder Singh Bajwa said.<br />

app be deleted, which resulted in<br />

content that people had crossposted<br />

from Twitter to Facebook<br />

also being temporarily removed<br />

from people's profiles,"<br />

Facebook said in a statement to<br />

Axios. "However, we have<br />

since restored the past content<br />

and it's now live on people's profiles,"<br />

Facebook said.<br />

The deletions were temporary,<br />

but this episode served as a<br />

reminder that users are not<br />

always in control of the content<br />

that they create on giant social<br />

media platforms.

20 <strong>September</strong> <strong>2018</strong><br />

TECH<br />

www.theasianindependent.co.uk<br />

Water spotted at<br />


Red Spot : NASA<br />

Washington : Looking at the depths<br />

of the Jupiter's Great Red Spot, a storm<br />

that has been raging on the planet for<br />

over 350 years, NASA scientists have<br />

found water above the planet's deepest<br />

clouds. The team led by Gordon l.<br />

Bjoraker, Astrophysicist at NASA's<br />

Goddard Space flight center in<br />

Maryland, US, were looking from<br />

ground-based telescopes at wavelengths<br />

sensitive to thermal radiation<br />

leaking from the depths of Jupiter's<br />

persistent storm, when they detected<br />

the chemical signatures of water<br />

above the planet's deepest clouds.<br />

The pressure of the water, combined<br />

with the measurements of<br />

another oxygen-bearing gas, carbon<br />

monoxide, imply that Jupiter has<br />

two to nine times more oxygen than<br />

the sun. This finding supports theoretical<br />

and computer-simulation<br />

models that have predicted abundant<br />

water (H2O) on Jupiter, the scientists<br />

said. "The moons that orbit<br />

Jupiter are mostly water ice, so the<br />

whole neighborhood has plenty of<br />

water. Why wouldn't the planet -- which<br />

is this huge gravity well, where everything<br />

falls into it -- be water rich, too?"<br />

Bjoraker said in a statement. The location<br />

of the water cloud, plus the amount<br />

of carbon monoxide that the researchers<br />

identified on Jupiter, confirms that<br />

Jupiter is rich in oxygen and, thus,<br />

water, Bjoraker explained.<br />

"Jupiter's water abundance will tell us<br />

a lot about how the giant planet formed,<br />

but only if we can figure out how much<br />

water there is in the entire planet," said<br />

Steven M. Levin, from NASA's Jet<br />

Propulsion Laboratory in California.<br />

The revelation was stirring given that<br />

the team's experiment could have<br />

easily failed. The Great Red Spot is<br />

full of dense clouds, which makes it<br />

hard for electromagnetic energy to<br />

escape and teach astronomers anything<br />

about the chemistry within.<br />

"It turns out they're not so thick that<br />

they block our ability to see deeply,"<br />

Bjoraker noted. The data collected will<br />

supplement the information NASA's<br />

Juno spacecraft is gathering as it circles<br />

the planet from north to south once<br />

every 53 days. If Juno returns similar<br />

water findings, thereby backing<br />

Bjoraker's ground-based technique, it<br />

could open a new window into solving<br />

the water problem, said Goddard's Amy<br />

Simon, a planetary atmospheres expert.<br />

"If it works, then maybe we can apply<br />

it elsewhere, like Saturn, Uranus or<br />

Neptune, where we don't have a Juno,"<br />

she said.<br />

Trump accuses Google of<br />

suppressing positive news<br />

about his presidency<br />

Washington : US President Donald Trump on Tuesday accused<br />

Alphabet Inc.'s Google search platform of elevating critical news stories<br />

about his presidency<br />

at the expense of<br />

friendly conservative<br />

voices, declaring that<br />

it is a "very serious<br />

situation" that will be<br />

addressed. Trump, in<br />

a pair of tweets early<br />

morning, said that a<br />

search in Google for<br />

"Trump News" yielded<br />

only "the viewing/reporting<br />

of Fake<br />

(News) Media". "In<br />

other words, they<br />

have it rigged, for me and others, so that almost all stories and news is<br />

bad," he wrote.<br />

"Fake CNN is prominent. Republican/Conservative and Fair Media is<br />

shut out," he wrote. "Google and others are suppressing voices of<br />

Conservatives and hiding information and news that is good. They are<br />

controlling what we can & cannot see. This is a very serious situation -<br />

will be addressed!" Google did not immediately respond to a request for<br />

comment, Efe news reported. Asked to elaborate later on the administration's<br />

views on potential regulation of the search giant, Lawrence<br />

Kudlow, the Director of Trump's National Economic Council, said:<br />

"We'll let you know, we're taking a look at it."<br />

Republicans have criticized social media sites such as Facebook and<br />

Twitter over their treatment of conservatives on their platforms. Last<br />

week, the President accused social media platforms of "silencing millions<br />

of people". Earlier in the month, Trump also claimed that tech<br />

companies were "totally discriminating against Republican/<br />

Conservative voices", pledging that his administration "won't let that<br />

happen". Accusations that Google tampers with search results are not<br />

new or uncommon. Those accusations took on a new life during the<br />

2016 presidential election when some Conservatives claimed that the<br />

technology giant was censoring controversial subjects as part of an effort<br />

to purge the Internet of fake news reports.<br />

Vodafone-Idea merger complete,<br />

becomes operational<br />

New Delhi : The merger of Vodafone India<br />

and Idea Cellular is complete after the National<br />

Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) approved the<br />

merger, creating India's largest telecom operator<br />

with over 400 million subscribers, a joint statement<br />

by the two companies said on Friday.<br />

The clearance from the tribunal was the last<br />

leg of official approvals after the Department of<br />

Telecommunications (DoT) cleared the merger<br />

last month. "Idea Cellular (renamed as 'Vodafone<br />

Idea Limited') -- an Aditya Birla Group and<br />

Vodafone Group partnership -- becomes operational<br />

as India's leading telecom service provider<br />

with a subscriber base of over 408 million," the<br />

statement said on Friday.<br />

The new Board of Directors constituted for<br />

Vodafone Idea comprises 12 Directors, including<br />

six "independent Directors", with Kumar<br />

Mangalam Birla as the Chairman. The Board has<br />

appointed Balesh Sharma as the CEO, it said.<br />

The new company will have a market share of<br />

32.2 per cent, as per the statement.<br />

"The merger is expected to generate Rs 140<br />

billion annual synergy, including opex synergies<br />

of Rs 84 billion, equivalent to a net present value<br />

of approximately Rs 700 billion," it said.<br />

Vodafone Group owns a 45.2 per cent stake<br />

and Aditya Birla Group owns a 26 per cent stake,<br />

both on fully diluted basis.<br />

WhatsApp to train users<br />

on dangers of fake news<br />

New Delhi : After being asked by the central<br />

government to take steps to stop the spread of<br />

disinformation on its platform, WhatsApp on<br />

Wednesday roped in New Delhi-based non-profit<br />

Digital Empowerment Foundation (DEF) to<br />

create awareness among its users about the need<br />

to verify information.<br />

"Our goal is to help keep people safe by creating<br />

greater awareness<br />

about fake news and empowering<br />

users to help limit its<br />

spread," Ben Supple, Public<br />

Policy Manager at<br />

WhatsApp, said in a statement.<br />

In a meeting with<br />

WhatsApp CEO Chris<br />

Daniels on August 21, Union<br />

IT Minister Ravi Shankar<br />

Prasad instructed the<br />

Facebook-owned platform to<br />

comply with the law of the<br />

land and take "suitable"<br />

steps to prevent its misuse.<br />

The meeting took place after several lynching<br />

incidents were linked to the spread of misinformation<br />

on the instant messaging platform which<br />

has over 200 million monthly active users in<br />

India. As part of the new partnership with<br />

WhatsApp, DEF has committed to holding 40<br />

training sessions for community leaders in 10<br />

states across the country where there have been<br />

worrisome cases of violence and where there<br />

will be state polls before the end of the year.<br />

DEF said it would help educate government<br />

officials, administration representatives, civil<br />

society organisations and students to spread the<br />

word about this challenge.<br />

The training is expected to enable WhatsApp<br />

users to differentiate between opinions and facts,<br />

and to inculcate a habit of verifying information<br />

through simple checks before forwarding it to<br />

their friends and family.<br />

In addition, DEF said it<br />

would incorporate this new<br />

training as part of their network<br />

of over 30,000 grassroots<br />

community members<br />

in seven states.<br />

"We at WhatsApp and<br />

DEF hope these training<br />

workshops will help build an<br />

empathetic and conscious<br />

community of WhatsApp<br />

users who learn to respond<br />

rather than react to every<br />

message they receive," said<br />

Osama Manzar, Founder-<br />

Director of DEF.<br />

WhatsApp has already taken several technological<br />

measures to curb the problem of disinformation,<br />

including the introduction of the "forwarded"<br />

tag and limiting forwarding to five<br />

chats at once. "In addition to the steps we are<br />

taking within WhatsApp, we believe impacting<br />

lives through the power of education is critical to<br />

helping achieve the vision of a 'Digital India',"<br />

Supple added.<br />

ASUS launches new<br />

ZenBook series<br />

San Francisco : Taiwanese electronics<br />

major ASUS on Friday launched<br />

"ZenBook 13" (UX333), "ZenBook 14"<br />

(UX433) and "ZenBook 15" (UX533).<br />

The new redesigned series of thin and<br />

light laptops also mark the debut of a<br />

frame-less "NanoEdge" display with<br />

ultraslim bezels on all four sides and up to<br />

95 per cent screen-to-body ratio. All<br />

devices are torture-tested to militarygrade<br />

reliability standards, with demanding<br />

tests that include environmental<br />

extremes of altitude, temperature and<br />

humidity, in addition to extensive drop,<br />

shock and vibration testing, the company<br />

said in a statement. The 13-inch and 14-<br />

inch models also include the new<br />

"NumberPad", an innovative productivity<br />

enhancement that provides a full-size<br />

LED-illuminated numeric keypad built<br />

into the touchpad. All models feature a<br />

special 3D IR camera that allows fast face<br />

login using Windows Hello, even in lowlight<br />

environments, the company added.<br />

The new models come with 8th<br />

Generation Intel Core i7 quad-core CPU,<br />

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Max-Q<br />

graphics, 16GB RAM, ultra-fast PCIe<br />

SSDs and gigabit-class Wi-Fi.

www.theasianindependent.co.uk<br />

WORLD<br />

<strong>September</strong> <strong>2018</strong><br />

21<br />

India, Nepal sign railway<br />

line survey agreement<br />

Kathmandu : In what can be seen<br />

as a major boost to regional connectivity,<br />

India and Nepal on Friday signed a<br />

memorandum of understanding<br />

(MoU) here on preliminary engineering-cum-traffic<br />

survey of the proposed<br />

Raxaul-Kathmandu railway line as<br />

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi<br />

and his Nepal counterpart K.P. Sharma<br />

Oli agreed to foster bilateral ties.<br />

The MoU is the first step forward in<br />

the ambitious rail connectivity initiative<br />

between the two countries<br />

announced in April this year.<br />

Besides this, India is also considering<br />

five other cross-border railway<br />

lines with Nepal to ease connectivity<br />

and boost bilateral trade. During the<br />

state visit of Oli to India in April, both<br />

sides had agreed to expand railway<br />

connection from Indian border town<br />

of Raxaul in Bihar to Kathmandu in a<br />

period of five years. The MoU, coming<br />

a week after Nepal and China<br />

agreed to prepare a detailed project<br />

report of the Kerung(Tibet)-<br />

Kathmandu railway line, is a clear<br />

manifestation of geopolitical competition<br />

to woo the Himalayan nation by<br />

the two Asian giants. The MoU was<br />

signed on the margins of the Fourth<br />

Bay of Bengal Initiative of Multi-<br />

Sectoral Technical and Economic<br />

Cooperation (Bimstec) Summit,<br />

which concluded earlier in the day in<br />

Kathmandu. Modi and Oli witnessed<br />

the exchange of the MoU between the<br />

two governments. On April 7 this<br />

year, the two governments had issued<br />

a joint statement on expanding rail<br />

linkages, agreeing to construct a new<br />

electrified rail line, with India's financial<br />

support, connecting Raxaul and<br />

Kathmandu. According to an Indian<br />

Embassy statement, as a first step, it<br />

was agreed that the Indian government,<br />

in consultation with the Nepal<br />

government, would carry out preparatory<br />

survey work within one year, and<br />

the two sides would finalise the implementation<br />

and funding modalities of<br />

the project based on the detailed project<br />

report. India's Konkan Railway has<br />

been asked to conduct a preliminary<br />

engineering-cum-traffic survey of the<br />

new rail line in consultation with the<br />

Nepalese government, the embassy<br />

stated. Indian Ambassador to Nepal<br />

Manjeev Singh Puri and Secretary at<br />

Nepal Ministry of Physical<br />

Infrastructure and Transportation<br />

Madhusudan Adhikari signed the<br />

MoU on behalf of the respective governments.<br />

"The Raxaul-Kathmandu<br />

rail line is expected to expand connectivity<br />

by enhancing people-to-people<br />

linkages between the two countries<br />

and promoting economic growth and<br />

development," the embassy statement<br />

said.<br />

Before signing the MoU, two Prime<br />

Ministers held delegation-level talks<br />

where various bilateral issues figured.<br />

In a tweet after the meeting, Modi<br />

said that the deliberations were wideranging,<br />

covering multiple aspects of<br />

India-Nepal relations. "We discussed<br />

ways to further deepen our economic,<br />

trade and cultural ties. Enhancing connectivity<br />

between our nations was discussed<br />

as well," he said.<br />

Later in the day, Modi and Oli<br />

jointly inaugurated the 400-bed<br />

Nepal-Bharat Maitri Pashupati<br />

Dharmashala in Kathmandu built with<br />

Indian aid. Speaking on the occasion,<br />

Modi assured India's continued support<br />

for the development of the<br />

Himalayan kingdom.<br />

"Every Indian is happy to see that<br />

there is political stability in Nepal. As<br />

a result, the country is developing fast.<br />

India's good wishes and support will<br />

always be with Nepal," said Modi<br />

after the inauguration ceremony.<br />

He said the Indian economy was<br />

touching new heights.<br />

"And I must tell you that our Nepali<br />

brothers and sisters have equal stakes<br />

in it. When we talk about development,<br />

it is part of our traditions to<br />

think about neighbours' prosperity as<br />

well." The Indian Prime Minister said<br />

the newly inaugurated dharmashala<br />

Mourinho is special, he has<br />

won a lot: Brazil's Ronaldo<br />

Rome : Brazilian football legend<br />

Ronaldo has put his weight behind<br />

under-fire Manchester United head<br />

coach Jose Mourinho and said he<br />

believes the Portuguese can turn things<br />

around. Mourinho is under pressure<br />

after United started the English Premier<br />

League season with one win and two<br />

defeats. They lost 0-3 at home to<br />

They've reached the final twice recently<br />

and (Cristiano) Ronaldo is going to<br />

strengthen them, but the Champions<br />

League is not easy. Signing (Cristiano)<br />

Ronaldo<br />

doesn't<br />

automatically<br />

mean<br />

you win it.<br />

how the balance will change. I wish him<br />

all the best. He will see what a beautiful<br />

country he's arrived in, and I love Italy.<br />

He's going to enjoy a great adventure."<br />

Former<br />

Brazil star<br />

Ronaldo,<br />

who turned<br />

out for Inter<br />

although picking Real to win a fourth<br />

straight title.<br />

"They are always in my heart, even if<br />

I've followed them little recently and not<br />

spoken any more with (former owner<br />

Massimo) Moratti," said the 41-yearold.<br />

"They're back in the Champions<br />

League and that's a great result, and they<br />

Tottenham Hotspur on Monday which "What<br />

Milan 68 are back among the best, which is where<br />

made matters worse.<br />

you cannot<br />

times and they belong.<br />

"I don't know what's happening in deny is that<br />

scored 49 "I'm very attached to Real, more so<br />

Manchester, but wait before criticising<br />

Mou -- he's special and he's won a lot,"<br />

he told Italy's La Gazzetta dello Sport.<br />

it's a huge<br />

signing --<br />

unthinkable<br />

goals, added<br />

that he is<br />

delighted to<br />

than Barcelona. Real were strong even<br />

before (Cristiano) Ronaldo came and<br />

they will remain so after. They are still<br />

Asked about United's chances in the<br />

-- but<br />

see them the favourites to win the Champions<br />

Champions League where United have<br />

been drawn against Juventus, Valencia<br />

nobody can<br />

predict<br />

back in the<br />

Champions<br />

League. They've won four of the last<br />

five, although it's going to be a whole<br />

and Young Boys, Ronaldo said what will<br />

League this different challenge without (Cristiano)<br />

"(Juventus) are a really strong side. happen and<br />

season, Ronaldo."<br />

would be a symbol of strengthening<br />

people-to-people power of both countries.Pashupatinath,<br />

Muktinath and<br />

Janakidham not only unite Nepal but<br />

they also give strength to the ties with<br />

India, he said. "There is a distance of<br />

thousands of kilometres between<br />

Kanyakumari and Kathmandu but the<br />

ballads of Pashupatinath have been<br />

echoing there (Kanyakumari) for the<br />

past 1,500 years," he said.<br />

Constructed within the framework<br />

of an MoU between the Indian government<br />

and the Pashupati Area<br />

Development Trust (PADT), the project<br />

has been constructed on 10,625<br />

square metres of land owned by<br />

PADT, under Indian grant assistance<br />

of about Nepali Rs 220 million<br />

(around Indian Rs 14 crore).<br />

The dharmashala has three storeys<br />

and is equipped with modern amenities<br />

for pilgrims visiting the<br />

Pashupatinath Temple area. The building<br />

has a total floor area of approximately<br />

6,100 square metres, and consists<br />

of single, twin-bedded, four-bedded<br />

and ten-bedded rooms, a dining<br />

hall, kitchen, library, multi-purpose<br />

hall, water treatment plant, solar<br />

heater and generator house.<br />

Construction of the project commenced<br />

in <strong>September</strong> 2016 and was<br />

handed over on Friday by the Indian<br />

government to PADT, which will be<br />

responsible for managing the facility<br />

for pilgrims visiting the Pashupatinath<br />

Temple area.<br />

"The completion of Nepal-Bharat<br />

Maitri Pashupati Dharmashala is<br />

another milestone in strengthening<br />

cultural ties and people-to-people contacts<br />

between the two countries," the<br />

Indian government said.<br />

7 militants<br />

killed, 5 injured<br />

in Afghan gun<br />

BATTLE<br />

Kabul : At least seven<br />

Taliban militants were killed<br />

and five injured in a clash with<br />

security forces in Afghanistan’s<br />

Maiwand district, police said<br />

on Thursday.<br />

The clash, which took place<br />

late on Wednesday, flared-up<br />

after the militants stormed<br />

some security checkpoints and<br />

in a counter-offensive the government<br />

forces began targeting<br />

the militants from the ground<br />

and air, Xinhua news agency<br />

quoted Deputy to Provincial<br />

Police Chief Abdul Bashir<br />

Khaksar as saying.<br />

He added that the government<br />

forces would continue to<br />

target the militants elsewhere<br />

in Kandahar province.<br />

The Taliban are yet to comment<br />

on the report.

22 <strong>September</strong> <strong>2018</strong><br />

WORLD<br />

www.theasianindependent.co.uk<br />

The morning news of raids and<br />

arrest of five activists from different<br />

parts of the country by the Pune police<br />

is a chilling reminder that talks of political<br />

dissent and human rights are a<br />

crime and those who are lynching people<br />

in public, threatening people to send<br />

to Pakistan or openly threatening writers<br />

and journalists are roaming free and<br />

being awarded by the political leadership<br />

of the ruling party, even following<br />

them on the social media.<br />

In democracy people have right to<br />

differ and have their opinion on various<br />

issues. Most of those arrested are well<br />

known writers and activists. Many of<br />

them are known through their work<br />

with the marginalised communities<br />

while some are known as ideologues of<br />

the left, some of them are as old as to be<br />

termed as senior citizens. Father Stan<br />

Swamy would be around 80 and so is<br />

Mr Varvara Rao. One is a human rights<br />

defender who has devoted his life to<br />

empower the adivasis of Jharkhand<br />

leaving all the comforts of his home<br />

state in Tamilnadu for the last three<br />

decades while the other is a literary figure<br />

based in Hyderabad and known as<br />

an ideologue of the left.<br />

Political thinker and public intellectual<br />

Anand Teltumde's home too was<br />

raided. He is a vocal critique of current<br />

economic policies and has been articulating<br />

bringing and merging the classcaste<br />

issues to fight the bigger battle.<br />

He is a prolific writer and his detailed<br />

analysis are available on Economic and<br />

Political Weekly. Gautam Navlakha<br />

belong to PUDR and has been fighting<br />

for the human rights of the marginalised<br />

for long.<br />

All of them are ideologues and<br />

believe in countering an argument<br />

through an argument. All believe in rule<br />

of law and constitution of India. It is<br />

therefore surprising what kind of<br />

'clinching' evidence the Pune police has<br />

got to arrest them. Good that the Delhi<br />

High Court has stayed the arrest of<br />

Gautam Navlakha till tomorrow when it<br />

hear the petition on an urgency basis.<br />

Ms Sudha Bharadwaj is a well known<br />

activist dedicated her life for the rights<br />


under ASSAULT<br />

of trade unions and fighting their cases<br />

free of cost. She has been active also for<br />

the rights of the adivasis. That a lawyer<br />

who is fighting cases of the marginalised<br />

and poor can be arrested by the police<br />

send us the message that they can reach<br />

to any one and criminalise them. It is a<br />

direct assault on our democracy.<br />

There are serious issues emerging<br />

from these arrests which is why is the<br />

Pune Police not able to finish the case.<br />

Rather than arresting the goons who<br />

resorted to violence in the aftermath of<br />

the rally at Bhimakoregaon, it arrested<br />

the Ambedkarite activists on a very<br />

large scale in the entire Maharastra<br />

state while completely leaving the<br />

goons of Elgar Parishad to roam around<br />

and threaten. So<br />

many cases were<br />

filed against the<br />

Dalit activists that<br />

they are fighting it now. Unfortunately,<br />

it did not stop with that. Several<br />

activists who might have participated in<br />

the event at Bhimakoregaon were<br />

arrested earlier and perhaps based on<br />

By Vidya Bhushan Rawat<br />

social and human rights activist<br />

extraction of statement from them,<br />

there were raids on these five people.<br />

This is difficult time for all who<br />

believe in human rights and political<br />

dissent. It is time to be together. As<br />

elections draw nearer, such stories<br />

would be cooked. You will get intimidated<br />

by the goons in the street, threatened<br />

with dire consequences and on<br />

social media there will be character<br />

assassination. More than that, on the<br />

North Korean Channels and newspapers<br />

you will get the 'break news'<br />

through 'selective' leakages of stories<br />

about the people<br />

who are arrested.<br />

The dalals<br />

will shout loud<br />

and bring out<br />

stories while the<br />

police will<br />

intimidate, assault and silently leak the<br />

stories to the obliging 'patrakars'.<br />

The modus operandi of the power is<br />

clear to get the activists physically<br />

assaulted like what they did to Umar<br />

Khalid or Swami Agnivesh then file<br />

cases against the victims and allow the<br />

goons and accused to go scot free,<br />

lynch the victim on the TV trials<br />

through their 'spokespersons' on the<br />

channels, plant stories in the media,<br />

drag the case as long as possible and<br />

build up the narrative of threat to the<br />

supreme leader.<br />

And this is not alone. One side the<br />

Maoist narrative, the other side the<br />

Muslim, Pakistan, terrorism narrative.<br />

With the most helping hand coming<br />

from the Bania media, completely<br />

exposing itself now, we can only fight<br />

the battle through legal means and joining<br />

hands together. The most unfortunate<br />

part is the silence of political people<br />

and parties who are unable to speak and<br />

condemn such assault on our freedom.<br />

This is the dark hour. During emergency,<br />

the work of political parties,<br />

activists, media and judiciary was complimentary.<br />

When Jai Prakash Narain<br />

gave a call, Ramnath Goenka and other<br />

joined hand, though a majority of papers<br />

surrendered but what is most threatening<br />

and intimidating today is that state apparatus<br />

is providing ammunition to<br />

spokespersons in the North Korean<br />

channels and cooking up new stories.<br />

We blame social media but it is the electronic<br />

media and print media whose<br />

integrity and credibility is now under the<br />

threat and a majority of who are openly<br />

criminals and supporting them.<br />

Democracy is under the stress today.<br />

Our human liberties and values are<br />

assaulted. Political freedom is endangered.<br />

The message is clear for all of us<br />

that you will be targeted for your views.<br />

Dont speak of people's right over<br />

resources. Dont talk about land rights.<br />

Seal your lips and stay silence because<br />

the greedy corporate want to make an<br />

entry into your region to suck your<br />

resources.<br />

Will the political leadership of different<br />

parties stand up together and<br />

speak up against this intimidation. Will<br />

our Courts speak up and send an unambiguous<br />

message to those in power not<br />

to cross the line and not to intimidate<br />

activists. Will the international rights<br />

bodies speak up. The space for civil<br />

society is shrinking in this country. It is<br />

these forces which can create an atmosphere<br />

for peace and harmony. It is these<br />

people who talk of democracy and constitution<br />

to get people their rights and<br />

not those who burn the constitution and<br />

yet roam free.<br />

We sincerely hope that the courts<br />

will take cognizance the matter and<br />

restore the confidence of the people in<br />

our judiciary and political system.<br />

There is a credibility crisis now and<br />

only courts can save them by their<br />

quick intervention. Let us wait for the<br />

verdict of Delhi High court tomorrow<br />

for one of the cases ?<br />

Vidya Bhushan Rawat is a social<br />

and human rights activist. He<br />

blogs at<br />

www.manukhsi.blogspot.com twitter<br />

@freetohumanity<br />

Email: vbrawat@gmail.com<br />


affect cognitive skills<br />

Beijing : Besides harming physical<br />

health, long-term exposure to air pollution<br />

can also affect cognitive skills,<br />

especially in elderly men, claims a<br />

study.<br />

The study, published in the journal<br />

Proceedings of the National Academy<br />

of Sciences, provided evidence that<br />

verbal and math scores "decreased<br />

with increasing cumulative air pollution<br />

exposure".<br />

This decline -- a potential risk factor<br />

in developing Alzheimer's disease<br />

or other forms of dementia -- becomes<br />

more pronounced as people age, especially<br />

for men and the less educated.<br />

"The damage on the ageing brain by<br />

air pollution likely imposes substantial<br />

health and economic costs, considering<br />

that cognitive functioning is critical for<br />

the elderly for both running daily<br />

errands and making high-stake decisions,"<br />

said researchers including Xin<br />

Zhang from Beijing Normal<br />

University.<br />

The team examined cognitive test<br />

scores of nearly 32,000 people<br />

between 2010 and 2014 against their<br />

exposure to short and long-term air<br />

pollution.<br />

While the study adds to the already<br />

numerous health concerns regarding<br />

air pollution including damage to the<br />

heart and kidneys, it will be of particular<br />

concern to developing nations<br />

whose smoggy cities could be hampering<br />

national economic development,<br />

CNN reported. "The damage on cognitive<br />

ability by air pollution also likely<br />

impedes the development of human<br />

capital. Therefore, a narrow focus on<br />

the negative effect on health may<br />

underestimate the total cost of air pollution,"<br />

Zhang said.<br />

"Our findings on the damaging<br />

effect of air pollution on cognition<br />

imply that the indirect effect of pollution<br />

on social welfare could be much<br />

larger than previously thought."<br />

According to the World Health<br />

Organization (WHO), nine out of<br />

every 10 people on the planet breathe<br />

air containing a high level of pollutants,<br />

with the worst affected regions<br />

being Africa and Asia.<br />

A recent study, published in the<br />

journal Environmental Science and<br />

Technology Letters, showed that if air<br />

pollution were removed as a risk for<br />

death, people in the world could live at<br />

least a year longer and in India, which<br />

is battling severe air pollution, the benefit<br />

would be even more -- about 1.5<br />

years.<br />

NASA working for<br />

better cancer treatments<br />

in space: Report<br />

Washington : Astronauts aboard the<br />

International Space Station (ISS) are conducting<br />

a blood cell experiment which<br />

may improve treatments for cancer, the<br />

media reported.<br />

In a new video published by the US<br />

space agency as part of the AngieX<br />

Cancer Therapy study, the team led by<br />

NASA astronaut Serena Aunon-<br />

Chancellor were shown examining<br />

endothelial cells that come<br />

from blood vessels,<br />

space.com reported on<br />

Tuesday.<br />

Several cartridge-shaped<br />

containers on board the<br />

ISS currently host the cells<br />

as they undergo varying<br />

amounts of chemotherapy<br />

exposure.<br />

The team is conducting blood experiments<br />

in space because sometimes, cells<br />

act differently in the weightless environment<br />

of orbiting spacecraft, called microgravity.<br />

Because these orbiting cells perform<br />

more like they normally do inside<br />

the body, cancer researchers can more<br />

accurately test the cells for chemotherapy<br />

responses, the report said.<br />

In the video, Aunon-Chancellor said<br />

the flat endothelial containers feel "all<br />

nice and warm and comfortable," because<br />

they are kept at body temperature aboard<br />

the space lab.<br />

"We've had them for almost two<br />

months now up here in<br />

ISS. We feed them. We<br />

give them nutrients …<br />

they are like miniature<br />

crewmembers living with<br />

us." According to NASA,<br />

endothelial cells housed<br />

within culture dishes (in<br />

vitro) in microgravity seem<br />

to perform as if they were in<br />

blood vessels within a living<br />

organism (in vivo) on Earth.<br />

"The study may facilitate a cost-effective<br />

method that does not require animal<br />

testing, which may help develop safer<br />

and more-effective vascular-targeted<br />

drugs," the project page on NASA stated.

www.theasianindependent.co.uk<br />

WORLD<br />

<strong>September</strong> <strong>2018</strong><br />

23<br />

India shortlisted among 5<br />

countries for Uber flying cabs<br />

Tokyo : Fasten your seatbelt<br />

to board a flying cab soon as<br />

Uber on Thursday selected<br />

India as one of the first five<br />

shortlisted finalist countries<br />

that could be home to the first<br />

international Uber Air City<br />

within the next five years.<br />

After evaluating countries<br />

across the globe, Uber Elevate -<br />

- the ride-hailing platform's<br />

aerial taxi arm -- announced<br />

Japan, India, Australia, Brazil<br />

and France as shortlisted countries<br />

at the first "Uber Elevate<br />

Asia Pacific Expo" in Tokyo<br />

here. Uber will choose one of<br />

the cities from these 5 shortlisted<br />

countries as its third launch<br />

city for flying taxis -- after<br />

Dallas and Los Angeles in the<br />

US. "Mumbai, Delhi, and<br />

Bengaluru are some of the most<br />

congested cities in the world,<br />

where travelling even a few<br />

kilometers can take over an<br />

hour. Uber Air offers tremendous<br />

potential to help create a<br />

transportation option that goes<br />

over congestion, instead of<br />

adding to it," the company said<br />

in a statement.<br />

Uber Elevate also<br />

announced plans to experiment<br />

with drone delivery for Uber<br />

Eats, and demonstrated how<br />

potential Uber Air routes in<br />

Asia Pacific cities could benefit<br />

local transportation systems.<br />

"We are proud to host the<br />

first ever Uber Elevate Asia<br />

Pacific Expo. We are announcing<br />

a shortlist of five countries<br />

where Uber Air can immediately<br />

transform transportation and<br />

take our technology to new<br />

heights," said Eric Allison,<br />

23 cities to avoid disposal of 87<br />

mn tonnes of waste by 2030<br />

New York : Twenty-three pioneering cities<br />

and regions have committed to significantly<br />

cut the amount of waste they generate, accelerating<br />

them on the path toward zero waste.<br />

By signing C40's Advancing Towards Zero<br />

Waste Declaration on Tuesday, these cities<br />

and regions have pledged to cut the amount of<br />

waste generated by each citizen 15 per cent by<br />

2030, reduce the amount of waste sent to landfills<br />

and incineration by 50 per cent and<br />

increase the diversion rate to 70 per cent by<br />

2030. This bold commitment announced in the<br />

run-up to the Global Climate Action Summit<br />

going to be held in San Francisco from<br />

<strong>September</strong> 12-14.<br />

The signatory cities and regions to the zero<br />

waste declaration include Auckland,<br />

Catalonia, Copenhagen, Dubai, London,<br />

Milan, Montreal, Navarra, New York City,<br />

Newburyport, Paris, Philadelphia, Portland,<br />

Rotterdam, San Francisco, San Jose, Santa<br />

Monica, Sydney, Tel Aviv, Tokyo, Toronto,<br />

Vancouver and Washington D.C.<br />

The 150 million citizens that live in the 23<br />

cities and regions are accelerating the transition<br />

to a zero-waste future and will avoid the<br />

disposal of at least 87 million tons of waste by<br />

2030. Such bold commitments are essential<br />

steps in delivering on the highest goals of the<br />

Paris Agreement and keeping global temperature<br />

rise below 1.5 degrees Celsius.<br />

Worldwide waste generation is increasing<br />

faster than any other environmental pollutant,<br />

and action in this sector can have a much<br />

faster and greater impact in combating climate<br />

change. For instance, the 1.3 billion tonnes of<br />

annual worldwide food scraps sent to landfills<br />

each year decomposes into methane, which is<br />

a much more potent greenhouse gas than CO2<br />

and already accounts for 25 per cent of current<br />

global warming. Transforming solid waste and<br />

material management systems globally could<br />

reduce global emissions by 20 per cent.<br />

That is why mayors of the world's urban<br />

centres are accelerating the transition towards<br />

a zero-waste future. Mayors have committed<br />

to taking ambitious, measurable and inclusive<br />

actions to reduce municipal solid waste<br />

generation and improve materials management<br />

in their cities, both key to making the<br />

urban centres cleaner, healthier, more<br />

resilient and inclusive. Better waste management<br />

can also create jobs and economic<br />

opportunities for social entrepreneurs and<br />

vulnerable communities. Specifically, signatory<br />

cities will implement bold actions,<br />

including reduce food losses and wasting of<br />

food at the retail and consumer levels by<br />

decreasing losses along production and supply<br />

chains, minimizing the production of surplus<br />

food, and facilitating safe food donation<br />

and by-products for feed production.<br />

Implement source separated collection for<br />

food scraps and other organics and treatment<br />

infrastructure that recovers nutrients, energy<br />

and contributes to the restoration of carbon<br />

storage capacity in soils.<br />

Leading up to the Global Climate Action<br />

Summit, C40 urged cities to step up their climate<br />

action and ambition.<br />

Head of Uber Aviation<br />

Programmes.<br />

In the next five years, Uber<br />

customers in launch cities will<br />

be able to push a button and get<br />

a flight on demand. To enable<br />

this, Uber has assembled a network<br />

of partners that includes<br />

vehicle manufacturers, real<br />

estate developers, technology<br />

developers and more. Dallas<br />

and Los Angeles were previously<br />

announced as the first<br />

two US launch cities and at the<br />

second annual Uber Elevate<br />

Summit in May, Uber<br />

announced it was seeking an<br />

international city as a third<br />

partner.<br />

"We see much potential in<br />

flying cars, and we anticipate<br />

that flying cars can be used not<br />

only to help solve traffic congestion<br />

in urban areas, but it<br />

will also help with increase<br />

mobility between city centres<br />

and remote islands and mountainous<br />

areas, promote tourism<br />

in Japan as well as enhance disaster<br />

relief operations," said<br />

Daisaku Hiraki, Parliamentary<br />

Vice-Minister of the Ministry<br />

of Economy, Trade and<br />

Industry, Japan. "The Uber<br />

Elevate team is now inviting<br />

conversations with stakeholders<br />

across major cities in these<br />

countries, and will announce<br />

the chosen Uber Air international<br />

city within the next six<br />

months," said the company.<br />

Uber Elevate has established a<br />

criteria framework to select the<br />

third city, anchored around<br />

three priority principles: sizable<br />

market, local commitment<br />

and enabling conditions.

24 <strong>September</strong> <strong>2018</strong><br />

WORLD<br />

www.theasianindependent.co.uk<br />


Release Chandrashekhar Azad<br />

‘Ravan’! - A Leader of Bhim Army<br />

Dear all,<br />

It’s now been more<br />

than a year since Bhim<br />

Army<br />

leader,<br />

Chandrashekhar Azad<br />

Ravan has been detained<br />

in Saharanpur Jail. He is<br />

being kept in jail under<br />

the draconian National<br />

Security Act (NSA) which<br />

allows for the state to<br />

detain people without<br />

charge or trial for up to a<br />

year. Chandrashekhar<br />

Azad Ravan and Bhim<br />

Army has been fighting<br />

against caste-based discrimination<br />

through the<br />

use of education in North<br />

India. Their 300 plus educational<br />

centres are<br />

empowering children to<br />

face their future with confidence<br />

and strength.<br />

But as you know, challenging the<br />

existing caste-based norms is very difficult.<br />

Chandrashekhar Azad Ravan is<br />

now bearing the brunt of a state that<br />

doesn’t want to engage with Dalit<br />

leaders.<br />

Instead of listening to what<br />

Bhim Army has to say, their members<br />

have been arrested and beaten up in<br />

jails. Unsubstantiated charges have<br />

been filed against their leaders. So<br />

much so that the Allahabad High<br />

Court in November 2017 said the<br />

charges against Chandrashekhar<br />

Azad Ravan looks to be politically<br />

motivated. Although the High Court<br />

granted him bail in November 2017<br />

state arrested him immediately after,<br />

under NSA. Since then he continues<br />

to lead the struggle for the emancipation<br />

of dalit people, from the<br />

Saharanpur jail.<br />

I write this mail asking you to<br />

support Chandrashekhar Azad Ravan,<br />

Bhim Army and all the Dalit leaders<br />

and protestors who have been jailed<br />

for protesting peacefully.<br />

Your support will remind the<br />

government that the world is watching<br />

how India treats its marginalised<br />

communities.<br />

For this We urge you to join our<br />

campaign and take action, by organising<br />

solidarity events on <strong>September</strong> 28,<br />

<strong>2018</strong> in your cities. To ensure that<br />

your voices are heard by the Indian<br />

government, you can arrange solidarity<br />

gatherings outside the Indian<br />

embassy in your country. If you are<br />

able to organise events, we will be<br />

grateful if you could participate in this<br />

campaign and encourage others to<br />

show their support. Since<br />

Chandrashekhar Azad Ravan’s NSA<br />

detention ends in November, it is crucial<br />

to build pressure both from within<br />

India and around the world on the<br />

Uttar Pradesh government to not<br />

detain, intimidate and harass the Bhim<br />

Army leader, and release Dalit protestors<br />

who have been arrested for<br />

protesting peacefully.<br />

Arun Khote from PMARC and<br />

Sanjeev Mathur from Bhim Army<br />

have been a pillar of strength to shape<br />

this campaign. We will be sending a<br />

detailed campaign activity sheet<br />

which will help you to organise the<br />

solidarity events on <strong>September</strong> 28.<br />

Looking forward to your support.<br />

Jai Bheem!<br />

Note : To register your support and participate in<br />

the global solidarity event, please contact:<br />

Abhirr VP, Amnesty International India<br />

Email: abhirr.vpalat@amnesty.org.in<br />

Arun Khote, PMARC<br />

Email: arun.khote@gmail.com, Mob: 8318843391<br />

Sanjeev Mathur, Bhim Army<br />

Email: and.sanjeev@gmail.com, Mob : 971111459<br />

Microsoft directs its<br />

suppliers to provide<br />

paid parental leave<br />

San Francisco : Microsoft<br />

has announced it would direct<br />

its US suppliers and business<br />

partners to offer workers 12<br />

weeks of paid parental leave.<br />

"Over the next 12 months<br />

we will work with our US suppliers<br />

to implement this new<br />

paid parental leave policy. It<br />

will require that suppliers<br />

offer their employees<br />

a minimum of 12<br />

weeks paid parental<br />

leave, up to $1,000 per<br />

week," said Dev<br />

Stahlkopf - Corporate Vice<br />

President and General Counsel,<br />

Microsoft, in a blog post on<br />

Thursday.<br />

The announcement comes<br />

amid an ongoing national dialogue<br />

about the importance of<br />

paid parental leave.<br />

The company will require<br />

that suppliers offer their<br />

employees a minimum of 12<br />

weeks' paid parental leave, up<br />

to $1,000 per week.<br />

"The new policy applies to<br />

all parents employed by our<br />

suppliers who take time off for<br />

the birth or adoption of a child.<br />

It also applies to suppliers with<br />

more than 50 employees and<br />

covers supplier employees who<br />

perform substantial work for<br />

Microsoft.<br />

"We have long recognised<br />

that the health, well-being and<br />

diversity of our employees<br />

helps Microsoft succeed. That's<br />

why we provide industry-leading<br />

benefits for our employees,<br />

including comprehensive<br />

health and wellness programmes<br />

for families, paid<br />

vacation, paid sick leave and<br />

paid time off for new parents,"<br />

Stahlkopf said.<br />

Microsoft, had in 2015, first<br />

announced that it will make<br />

changes to ensure that a wide<br />

variety of suppliers that do<br />

business with the tech giant in<br />

the US provide their employees<br />

who handle our<br />

work with at least 15<br />

days of paid leave<br />

each year. The tech<br />

giant said it will<br />

work with the suppliers<br />

to understand the impact<br />

of this change, in a thoughtful<br />

way. "We appreciate that this<br />

may ultimately result in<br />

increased costs for Microsoft,<br />

and we'll put a process in place<br />

for addressing these issues with<br />

our suppliers. Our first step will<br />

be reaching out to our suppliers<br />

to discuss the impact of this<br />

policy change," Stahlkopf said.

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