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Vol : 04 : #38 01-03-2020 to 15-03-2020

GTB Hospital hands

over 32 bodies, THREE

REMAIN UNIDENTIFIED

New Delhi : Three persons who died in the

violence in northeast Delhi in the past week still

remain unidentified as their bodies lie in the

mortuary of Guru Teg Bahadur Hospital in

Dilshad Garden, hospital officials said on

Sunday. "Post-mortems on bodies of 32 of 38

bodies at the hospital have been performed and

bodies handed over to bereaved families. Three

of the six remaining bodies remain unidentified,"

officials told the media.

At least 41 persons were killed in northeast

Delhi since Sunday afternoon after a clash

between anti- and pro-CAA groups. While 38

deaths were reported at the GTB Hospital, three

were reported at Lok Nayak Jai Prakash

Hospital. At the GTB Hospital, 28 victims were

brought dead while 10 died during treatment.

The GTB Hospital officials said that no new

deaths had been recorded since. The hospital

has admitted 271 injured patients since

February 24, of which many were critical. "At

present, only 40 victims remain at the hospital.

Only 32 victims with minor injuries were

brought to the hospital in the last 24 hours. Of

these 32, all except one have been discharged,"

said GTB Hospital officials.

Bhim Army

chief detained

in Lucknow

Lucknow : Bhim Army chief

Chandra Shekhar was placed under

house arrest at the government guest

house in Dalibagh area here on Sunday

evening. Chandra Shekhar was in

Lucknow to join the anti-CAA protests

at the Clock Tower in the state capital.

Additional DCP Chiranjeev Nath

Sinha, however, denied that the Bhim

Army chief had been taken into custody.

"Additional forces were sent to the

guest house when we learnt of his presence

there. He has probably come here

in connection with meetings of his

organization," the police official said.

Bhim Army's media in charge

Anurag maintained that Chandra

Shekhar was under house arrest and was

not being allowed to join the anti-CAA

protests.

Chandra Shekhar has been touring

the country in support of anti-CAA

protests and has even been arrested once

in this connection.

INDIANS will pay $50,000 more

for US investor visa from April

Washington : Beginning April 1,

Indians wishing to immigrate to

America will now have to pay an

additional $50,000 for the EB-5 or the

US investor visa, a media report said.

Although, this additional tax

would impact all visa categories, it

will predominantly create a barrier

for people investing in the EB-5 visa

programme, the American Bazaar

daily said in the report on Friday. In

2019, the EB-5 investor visa programme,

for the first time since the

1990's, increased the minimum

investment amount to $900,000.

With this increase in minimum

investment, the new 5 per cent additional

tax would mean that applicants

would have to pay the extra

$50,000, when they move money to

an escrow account in the US to fulfil

their application criterion. "The

changes to the tax on remittances is

a reminder to Indians to carefully

plan their tax position before making

the move to the US," the

American Bazaar quoted Mark

Davies, Global Chairman, Davies &

Associates LLC, as saying.

"People seeking to emigrate who

do not wish to pay this tax at source

and rather account for it later may

wish to move their money ahead of

the new rules coming into effect.

"It is possible to pre-emptively

move money into an escrow account

in the US until such a time as they are

ready to proceed with emigration

process," he added.

Melbourne Forum grieves for victims of Delhi violence

Thiruvananthapuram :

Hundreds of members belonging

to the Melbourne based

Melbourne Secular Forum on

Sunday condemned the northeast

Delhi violence which

claimed more than 40 lives,

left over 200 injured, caused

huge loss to the properties, at a

function held at the Melbourne

Federation Square, said its

member.

Speaking to IANS over

telephone from Melbourne,

chief coordinator of the

Forum, Thiruvallam Bhasi

said the turnout was very

impressive.

"We have decided to

approach the Australian government

to see that they intervene

to see the life and properties

of the relatives of the

Forum members are protected,

back in Delhi," said Bhasi.

The Forum is currently finishing

a signature campaign

across Australia against the

Citizenship Amendment Act

(CAA). "Once we collect the

entire set of signatures, it will

be send to the President of

India and a copy of it will be

given to the Indian Embassy in

Melbourne," said Bhasi, a

journalist based in Melbourne,

who hails from the state capital

here.


2

01-03-2020 to 15-03-2020 ASIA

www.theasianindependent.co.uk

Bengaluru wheelchair

users seek public

SPACES TO RIDE

Bengaluru : Marking the International

Wheelchair Day on Sunday, around 70

wheelchair-bound specially-abled people

sought public spaces to use in this tech city.

"There is need create awareness on

wheelchair users' issues, such as access to

public spaces to ride in the city," said

Padmashri Malathi Holla, a wheelchairbound

evangelist for equal rights of specially-abled

people.

Arjuna awardee Malathi Holla, who represented

India in Paralympics, Asian

Games, World Masters and

Commonwealth Games, is the founder of

Mathru Foundation, a charitable trust for

people with disability. Around 300 people,

including volunteers and activists, participated

in the rally, organised by the Special

Educators and Rehab Professionals

(SERPA), a non-profit organisation, from

M.G. Road to Cubbon Park Metro station

to mark the day and highlight their issues.

"Creating awareness and accepting the specially-abled

people into our midst is the

first step to pave for access to public

spaces," said Uma Hrishi, organiser of the

rally. As wheelchair users with locomotor

disabilities face difficulty in moving, be in

offices or schools, on roads or footpaths in

cities across the country, Uma said it was

high time accessibility was made a part of

their daily routine.

Urging the government to provide

access to public places, including buses

and rest rooms, Karnataka Vikala Chethana

Samstha member Kiran Nayak from

Chikkaballapur town lamented that wheelchair

users were not even treated as normal

human beings. "In a cosmopolitan city like

Bengaluru, they (wheelchair users) can't

get onto footpaths, public places or even

into buses. The state government should

create access to public places by implementing

the Public Works Department

Act," said NGO Swaraj Abhiyan's president

Manhohar Elavarthi. Kannada cine

actor Premkavi Ramesh, who is starring in

a soon-to-be released movie "Wheelchair

Romeo", said the government should provide

wheelchairs of quality to the specially-abled

people than giving chairs used for

patients in hospitals. "They need wheelchairs

for daily use and not when they are

sick," Ramesh quipped.

Hindu-Muslim

amity amid deadly

Delhi violence

New Delhi : Even as northeast Delhi was reeling under the

deadly violence that continued for three days and claimed over

40 lives, some Hindu and Muslim communities showed unity

with Hindus coming forward to ensure the safety of Muslims.

While touring the violence hit areas, IANS learnt that only a

few Muslim families live in Brijpuri and the Hindu families living

here took the responsibility to ensure their safety.

Mahabir Singh, who has been residing in A-block of Brijpuri

for decades, told IANS: “The residents of the whole area were

in fear due to the violence instigated by the politicians.”

On BJP leader Kapil Mishra’s statement, he said there is nothing

wrong in the statement given by Mishra. “One community

was protesting against the Citizenship Amendment Act while the

other was favouring it. The people protesting against it are misled,”

said Singh.

IANS also met a Muslim family residing in the area. Asiya

(70), the head of that family who has been residing in the area

for 16 years, said: “I was in my village when violence erupted

but I was not worried at all because people here have always

stood by us.” When asked about her age, she said she is just a

year elder to Modi. IANS also interacted with a joint family

from the Muslim community. Mehjabeen, a member of that family,

said: “We have been living here for the last 40 years. We

have celebrated all the festivals together whether Eid or Diwali.

The Hindu families living here assured us of safety.”

Another resident of this area, Adil said: “I have been living

here for more than 15 years with my family. I knew that nothing

would happen to my life or family because I knew irrespective

of their religion, all of them are our brothers and sisters.

“We were living peacefully here. We have nothing in our

hearts against each other. Both the communities irrespective of

religion, guarded the colony,” he added. People living in the area

said that the area was untouched by the fiery clashes because

communal harmony and unity prevails here.

Team AI :

Devinder Chander

Editor-in-chief

Columnists

V.B. Rawat

Farzana Suri

Arun Kumar

Rahul Kumar

Harminder K. Bhogal

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HK police arrest 115 over protest violence

Hong Kong : Hong Kong police on

Sunday said they had arrested 115 people

after a night of chaos that marked

the first major outbreak of anti-government

protest violence since the start of

the coronavirus crisis in the city.

Seventy-one men and 44 women,

aged 15 to 54, were detained on suspicion

of taking part in unauthorised

assemblies, possession of offensive

weapons and instruments fit for unlawful

purpose, arson, attacking police officers

and obstructing them in the execution

of their duties, reports the South

China Morning Post newspaper.

The incident in Mong Kok occurred

on Saturday night after about 100 protesters

gathered to block Nathan Road,

marking six months since major clashes

on August 31, 2019. The crowd grew in

size later into the night.

According to the police, protesters

threw bricks, stones, bamboo sticks and

other hard objects at an officer, who

pulled out his gun as he believed his life

was in danger. The officer suffered

injuries to his head, arms and legs, while

another policeman was also attacked

with bricks, and sustained injuries to his

arms.

Police had arrived at the scene at

around 8 p.m. and used non-lethal

weapons to disperse the crowds and

clear the roadblock near Prince Edward

MTR station, firing about 10 rounds of

tear gas, said the South China Morning

Post report.

A fire was set on the road, but firefighters

soon put it out.

Since June last year, Hong Kong has

been gripped by often-violent clashes

between anti-government protesters and

police, sparked by a piece of extradition

legislation which officials have since

withdrawn.

On August 31, 2019 the police

stormed Prince Edward station to chase

and arrest protesters, some of whom

were injured in the raid.

It sparked public concerns over

whether officers had used excessive

force.

* 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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ASIA

01-03-2020 to 15-03-2020

3

China COVID-19 toll reaches 2,835

KERALA NRI

Commission

demands voting

rights for diaspora

Thiruvananthapuram : The Kerala Non-

Resident Indians' Commission on Friday passed

a resolution to request the Centre and Election

Commission (EC) to make appropriate amendments

in the Representation of Peoples Act,

1951, to ensure voting rights to the non-resident

Indians working abroad. The Commission is a

statutory body constituted for the welfare of

Non-Resident Keralites working outside India.

The Centre had introduced a bill for this purpose

which was passed by the Lok Sabha in

2018, but the same has since lapsed. Therefore,

the Kerala NRI Commission decided to request

the Centre to consider introducing the bill in the

next session of Parliament considering the interest

of the NRI community at large. The resolution

was moved by commission member and

NRI entrepreneur Shamsheer Vayalil, who is

also a petitioner in the writ petition filed regarding

this in the Supreme Court. "The central government

may consider introducing the bill in the

next session of the Parliament session considering

the interest of the NRI community at large,"

read the resolution which will now be sent to the

Ministry of Law and the Election Commission

(EC). Commission chairman Justice P.D. Rajan

said the right to vote for NRIs is a genuine

demand. "This is the time that we step up pressure

on the agencies concerned to implement

this. Voting from the workplace would be a different

experience for them. It would be a decisive

step," he said. This fresh development

comes at a time when a petition filed in the

Supreme Court on the same topic last week came

before a bench headed by Justice Deepak Gupta,

which considered the case and said it will be

heard in April.

"We are expecting a favourable decision from

the Supreme Court. We would also approach the

NRI commission in other states and request them

to raise the same demand," said Vayalil. If implemented,

millions of NRIs around the world

would be able to exercise their franchise in the

electoral processes of the nation. According to

the estimate of the Ministry of External Affairs,

there are about 3.10 crore NRIs.

Beijing : The death toll due to the

deadly coronavirus in mainland China

increased to 2,835 on Saturday, with

an overall 79,251 cases, according to

health authorities. The National

Health Commission said that it

received reports of 427 new cases and

47 deaths on Friday, Xinhua news

agency reported. Among the deaths,

45 were in Hubei province and one

each in Beijing and Henan. The

Commission added that 1,418 people

were still suspected of being infected

with the virus, while a total of 39,002

people had been discharged from hospital

after recovery. On Saturday, the

first official economic data confirmed

fears that the Chinese economy has

been badly hit by the coronavirus,

with a February plunge in manufacturing

activity, reports the South China

Morning Post.

The official manufacturing purchasing

managers' index (PMI)

slowed to 35.7, the National Bureau of

Statistics (NBS) said, having slipped

to 50.0 in January when the full

impact of the coronavirus was not yet

evident. A PMI reading of 50 marks

the point between expansion and contraction.

Globally, more than 83,650 people

in over 50 countries have been infected.

As of Saturday morning, the number

of confirmed cases outside China

were reported in South Korea

(2,931), Japan (940, including 705 on

Diamond Princess), Italy (888), Iran

(388), Singapore (98), Hong Kong

(94), the US (60), France (57),

Germany (53), Kuwait (45), Spain

(41), Thailand (41), Taiwan (39),

Traumatised Bengal

workers return from

violence-hit Delhi

Kolkata : With panic writ large on their

traumatised faces, 13 West Bengal residents

returned here on Friday after being

trapped in Delhi without a morsel to eat

during the recent arson that broke out in

North-East Delhi after clashes between pro

and anti-CAA protesters turned violent.

It was virtually a close brush with death

for the 13 men, who went to the national

capital from Naoda in Murshidabad district

to earn a living by working as daily

labourers. "We got trapped in the disturbances.

We didn't get anything to eat for

three days. We couldn't venture outdoor.

The police finally rescued us," said a

youth, still looking tense as the team

returned to Howrah station by Kalka Mail.

"The situation was very bad. We couldn't

through a hellish experience. For two days,

they kept all lights in the house switched

off, and doors heavily locked. Even after

the police and AAP volunteers went to rescue

them, for a long time they couldn't

master the courage to open the door.

"Finally, the rescuers called up one of

those trapped on his mobile. Only then

they opened the door," said Pranojit Saha

of Bangla Sanskriti Mancha, who was one

of those who coordinated with the Aam

Aadmi Party (AAP) government in Delhi

to ensure that the 13 Bengal residents

returned safely.

Saha said Bangla Sanskriti Mancha

President Samiul Islam was in constant

touch with Delhi Labour Minister Gopal

Rai, who arranged for the tickets of these

contact our family. Now we feel people. At the Howrah station,

relieved," said another youth, who, along

with others, had shut himself in a house in

Shahdara, before he was shifted to a safe

house in Banda Chowk. "They went

Government Railway Police (GRP) personnel

escorted the 13 men to police vehicles

which took them to their home in

Naoda, around 200 km from here.

Bahrain (36), Malaysia (25),

Australia (24), the UK (20), the UAE

(19), Vietnam (16), Canada (14),

Macau (eight), Iraq (eight), Sweden

(seven), Oman (six), Switzerland

(five), Russia (five), Croatia (five),

Israel (four), Greece (four),

Philippines (three), India (three),

Lebanon (three), Romania (three),

Mexico (two), the Netherlands (two),

Pakistan (two), Austria (two),

Georgia (two), Finland (two), and

one each in Nigeria, Norway,

Lithuania, Belarus, Brazil, Belgium,

Iceland, Azerbaijan, Denmark,

Afghanistan, Sri Lanka, New

Zealand, Cambodia and North

Macedonia, according to figures

issued by the South China Morning

Post. The deaths outside China were

recorded in Iran (34), Italy (21),

South Korea (16), Japan (11), Hong

Kong (two), France (one), Taiwan

(one) and the Philippines (one). The

latest developments came as the

World Health Organization (WHO)

on Friday upgraded the global risk of

the outbreak to its highest level, the

BBC reported. But the UN body said

there was still a chance of containing

the virus if its chain of transmission

were broken.

WHO head Tedros Adhanom

Ghebreyesus also stressed that fear

and misinformation were the biggest

challenges to overcome.

Over $200 mn fine for

major US carriers for

selling user location data

San Francisco : The US Federal Communications

Commission (FCC) has proposed a fine of over $200 million

for all major US mobile

carriers for selling the

location data of customers

to some agencies.

The Federal

Communications

Commission today proposed

fines against the

nation's four largest

wireless carriers for

apparently selling access to their customers' location information

without taking reasonable measures to protect

against unauthorised access to that information. As a result,

T-Mobile faces a proposed fine of more than $91 million,

AT&T faces a proposed fine of more than $57 million,

Verizon faces a proposed fine of more than $48 million, and

Sprint faces a proposed fine of more than $12 million, the

FCC said in a statement on Friday. The Enforcement Bureau

of FCC opened this investigation after reports surfaced that

a Missouri Sheriff, Cory Hutcheson, used a "location-finding

service" operated by Securus, a provider of communications

services to correctional facilities, to access the location

information of the wireless carriers' customers without their

consent between 2014 and 2017. "American consumers take

their wireless phones with them wherever they go. And

information about a wireless customer's location is highly

personal and sensitive. The FCC has long had clear rules on

the books requiring all phone companies to protect their customers'

personal information. And since 2007, these companies

have been on notice that they must take reasonable precautions

to safeguard this data and that the FCC will take

strong enforcement action if they don't. Today, we do just

that," said FCC Chairman Ajit Pai.

"This FCC will not tolerate phone companies putting

Americans' privacy at risk." The FCC also admonished these

carriers for apparently disclosing their customers' location

information, without their authorisation, to a third party.

The four major US carriers mentioned sold access to their

customers' location information to "aggregators," who then

resold access to such information to third-party locationbased

service providers (like Securus). Although their exact

practices varied, each carrier relied heavily on contractbased

assurances that the location-based services providers

(acting on the carriers' behalf) would obtain consent from

the wireless carrier's customer before accessing that customer's

location information.


4

01-03-2020 to 15-03-2020 ASIA

www.theasianindependent.co.uk

Mayawati writes to

President, seeks judicial

probe into riots

Lucknow : Bahujan Samaj Party

(BSP) President Mayawati on Friday

wrote to President Ram Nath Kovind

on the violence in northeast Delhi, in

which more than 40 people have been

killed so far, demanding a judicial

probe into the riots.

She stated that the violence in the

national capital that

began on Sunday and

continued for four

days was a failure of

the Bhartiya Janata

Party-led government.

"Delhi, which

is the capital of

India, has once again

been hit by deadly

riots like the 1984

Sikh riots and there

has been a massive

loss of life and property,"

she wrote in

the letter. The riots

and the loss of lives and property

were "very serious, extremely sad

and worrisome", she said.

The violence, she said, had attracted

the world's attention to India and

the country has become a subject of

negative discussions. "It is the duty of

the ruling BJP and its government to

see that they do not do anything that

would damage the prestige of the

country nor tolerate any statement by

its party members or let them indulge

in any activity that would lead to

anarchy and violence," Mayawati

said. She pointed out that "People

have seen and felt that the BJP and its

government have been a failure to a

large extent in living up to its constitutional

responsibilities. Over three

dozen people have lost their lives,

over 200 were

injured, and in these

times of price rise,

poverty, and unemployment,

a massive

loss to businesses

and trade has happened."

The BSP chief

said a high-level

judicial probe under

a Supreme Court

judge must be

ordered into the violent

clashes in Delhi

for a meaningful

outcome of the investigations to

"wash away the blot" on the national

capital, like that of the anti-Sikh riots.

Mayawati also slammed the Delhi

Police, saying the force and the

administration were negligent in

tackling the riots.

She also urged the President to

direct the Delhi government and

Centre to provide relief and assistance

to those affected by the riots in

the best possible manner.

CBI books two Delhi

firms in Rs 681-cr scam

Will Rajini's stand on DELHI

violence pitch him against Stalin?

Chennai : Superstar Rajinikanth's

tough talk on the Delhi violence has

demolished the notion that he is prosaffron

and would be pitted against

DMK's MK Stalin when the Assembly

elections are held in Tamil Nadu in

2021, a political observer said on

Saturday. On the other hand, a senior

DMK leader said that the ruling

AIADMK will not allow the 2021

polls in the southern state to become a

fight between Stalin and Rajinikanth,

but an AIADMK versus DMK affair.

"For a long time, Rajinikanth's

detractors termed him as a 'Sanghi'.

But with one media interaction, he

demolished such notion. For him, the

primary rival in the 2021 Assembly

polls will be DMK President Stalin,

who is banking on anti-BJP sentiments

in Tamil Nadu enjoyed an edge over

others till now," the political analyst

told IANS on the condition of

anonymity. "Rajinikanth's statement

blaming intelligence failure and Home

Ministry failure for the Delhi violence

has blunted the opposition edge," he

added. During his media interaction

here on February 26, the superstar also

said that the Centre should deal sternly

with violence in Delhi and resign if

this is not done. The actor has earlier

said that he would take a plunge into

active politics and fight the 2021

Assembly polls. "The 2021 elections

are all about settling the leadership

issue in Tamil Nadu politics following

the demise of AIADMK's J

Jayalalithaa and DMK's Karunanidhi,"

another political commentator Jhon

Arokiasamy told IANS. He said that if

Rajinikanth maintains a non pro-BJP

or even a neutral stance, he holds better

prospects to form a formidable

alliance in the Tamil Nadu elections.

Arokiasamy said that he could draw

towards him political parties that are

now aligned with either the ruling

AIADMK or the opposition DMK and

thus disrupt the winnability of whoever

now holds a relatively advantageous

position. Minutes after Rajinikanth's

media interaction actor turned politician

Kamal Haasan had tweeted:

"Kudos, friend... this way is a good

option. It is not a separate path, but a

royal race. Welcome, congratulations."

Arokiasamy said that Rajinikanth's

party's positioning before his entry in

the poll areana would be key to transfer

his brand value as a popular actor

to the political field. "There is an

attempt to make the 2021 Assembly

polls as a fight between Stalin and

Rajinikanth. But the ruling AIADMK

will not allow this to happen. The ruling

party will try to make it as

AIADMK versus DMK," DMK

spokesperson and MP TKS Elangovan

told IANS. Elangovan said he did not

see any difference between Prime

Minister Narendra Modi's views and

that of Rajinikanth. "Rajinikanth

should ask the central government to

talk to the anti-CAA protestors.

Rajinikanth will be used as a propaganda

tool by the BJP," Elangovan

added. According to him, an electoral

victory is not decided by an actor's

fans. "In the case of AIADMK founder

MG Ramachandran, his fans were

members of the DMK. When MGR

broke away from the DMK, his fans

also went away. But in the case of

Rajinikanth and others, their fans are

in different parties and it is up to them

to decide to vote for the party or for the

movie actor," Elangovan said.

On political parties gravitating

towards Rajinikanth, the DMK leader

said that the actor has not spelt out his

economic and other policies yet.

Political commentator Maalan

Narayanan said: "The Congress,

MDMK and the left may not leave the

DMK and join hands with Rajini. But

others might do. The anti-

AIADMK/DMK votes may go to

Rajini. There is one segment of voters

who want an alternative to these two

parties for a long time," Narayanan

added.

New Delhi : The Central

Bureau of Investigation (CBI)

has registered separate cases

against two Delhi-based private

companies and their directors for

causing a huge loss to banks of

over Rs 681 crore by availing

credit facilities, the agency said

on Friday.

Both the cases were filed by

the central probe agency this

week following complaints from

the banks. In the first case, the

Central Bureau of Investigation

(CBI) lodged a FIR against Shree

Bankey Behari Exports Ltd, its directors

Amarchand Gupta, Shakuntala Devi, Ramlal

Gupta, Rajkumar Gupta, and other unidentified

public servants.

The firm and its directors have been booked

for cheating, criminal conspiracy and forgery

under the Prevention of Corruption Act on a

complaint from the State Bank of India on behalf

of the consortium banks. It was alleged that the

company availed credit facilities to the tune of

Rs 625 crore and cheated members of the consortium

banks by way of forgery and using

forged documents as genuine. This caused an

alleged loss Rs 604.81 crore to the banks. The

consortium banks consisted of seven banks,

namely State Bank of India, Punjab National

Bank, Vijaya Bank (now Bank of Baroda),

Andhra Bank, Oriental Bank of Commerce,

Syndicate Bank and Canara Bank.

Searches have been conducted at the premises

of the directors of the borrower company in

Delhi which led to the recovery of various

incriminating documents, said a CBI official.

The other case has been registered against

Rajesh Gems and Jewels Pvt Ltd, its Promoter

and Director Rajesh Kumar Luthara, Parveen

Luthara, unidentified public servants and private

persons on a complaint from the Indian Overseas

Bank, Delhi.

It was alleged that the promoters and directors

of the company availed various loans and credit

limits from the Indian Overseas Bank during

2003 to 2015 against "hypothecation" of jewellery

stocks and collateral securities. It was also

alleged that the loan amounts were siphoned off

through related parties in violation of lending

conditions stipulated by the Bank, the official

said. It was further alleged that the books of the

company were manipulated and forged to camouflage

illegal siphoning-off of funds and misappropriation

of hypothecated stocks. The Bank

has suffered an alleged loss and declared an

amount of Rs 77.51 crore as Non Performing

Assets (NPA) on September 29, 2015. Searches

have been conducted at three places in Delhi at

the premises of accused, the agency said.


www.theasianindependent.co.uk

New Delhi : Mirror-work has traditionally

played a very important role

in decor of all kinds and Rajasthan and

Gujarat, can be credited with introducing

the world to innovative methods of

using mirrors. The urge for decoration

permeates all facets of life in

Rajasthan and Gujarat and it was initially

used to decorate homes. In fact,

the mirror was first used as an embellishment

on the exterior walls -

embedded in mud walls these mirrors

were usually small and circular in

shape and the patterns in white chalk

white around them huts very attractive.

This type of work can still be

seen in remote villages in Gujarat and

Rajasthan. Mirrors as wall decor was

probably introduced by traders, arriving

over land and sea, from Europe

and Persia. The use of mirrors in garments

is now universally known, and

designers of high fashion garments the

world over have been experimenting

with mirror work for the past decade.

However, the intricate mirror work

used in decorating walls, such as the

hall of mirrors or "Sheesh Mahal" at

the Amber Fort in Jaipur, is less widely

known. Awed by the ornate palaces

in Rajasthan, I have often marveled at

the mirror work that one sees covering

the walls of palaces. These eSheesh

Mahal's' are seen at most of the

famous palaces and havelis in

Rajasthan. Some of the finest examples

of this work can be seen on the

ceilings, walls and columns of the

palace at Samode, the Diwan-e-khas at

Amber, the City Palace and Lake

Palace at Udaipur, the Mehrangarh

Fort in Jodhpur and the Junagarh Fort

at Bikaner. Traditionally, mirror work

and "panni" work - which is the use of

coloured foil to fill in or outline the

designs - were used together. The

foil helps in giving each pattern a clear

and well-defined outline,

and highlights the visual impact of

the overall design. Stained glass windows

in primary colours set in geometrical

designs, in conjunction with

mirror and panni work has been used

extensively in the interiors of fifteenth

century forts, palaces and havelis" of

Rajasthan. The use of myriad mirrors

began with the decoration and embellishment

of temples. Mirror-workers

involved in this craft for 6 generations,

say that the purpose of multiple mirrors,

was to create endless images of

the deities - showing that God was

omnipresent. To the commoner, the

Maharaja was also considered if not at

NEWS

The Sheesh Mahals

of RAJASTHAN

the level of God, but certainly as

an exalted being whose royal visage

deserved to be enhanced! It is

also likely that this folk art, seen

and appreciated by-the feudal

lords of Rajasthan, who decided to

decorate their palaces with a more

highly developed and sophisticated

version. In this, the Rajas and

Maharajas found that walls covered

in mirror work, multiplied the

images of lamps - making the

room brighter. Vanity also played a

large part in this, as the personage

of the Maharaja was also multiplied!

Hence throne rooms, halls

of private and public audience and

other special areas, were heavily decorated

with mirror work, interspersed

with moulded gilding and panni work.

Needless to say, the royal harems

were also mirror bedecked, so that the

monarch would be able to see multiple

images of his favourite queen. It is

said that the use of large mirrors on

garments by the nomadic Rabari tribe

of Rajasthan, also had its origin in the

fact that the male wished to be reflected

in the garments of his beloved!

As expected in specialized creativity,

mirror work is a highly intricate

process that requires great skills

learnt from a young age. The craftsmen

who are

involved in this work

are usually descendants

of families who

have been in this

trade for generations.

In addition to skill, a

great deal of patience

and perseverance is

required, since a

craftsman can only

complete a tiny portion

of the work in a

day.

The mirrors used

in this type of work,

may be plain or

coloured, and traditionally these were

made in Faizabad and Ahmedabad.

Usually available in circular shapes of

30cm diameter, and 2-4 mm thickness

- a thicker gauge makes cutting difficult,

while a thinner gauge makes

them easily breakable. Conclave mirrors

reflected a larger spectrum of

01-03-2020 to 15-03-2020

5

images and were used during Mughal

times.

The mirrors are placed on a base of

lime plaster, watered for several days,

and made rough to prevent cracks. A

special paste formed by mixing

kali(baked lime) and surkhi (crushed

burnt brick) with water is applied

before the relief work. The design is

carved with a 20-23 cm long kalam

which has a pointed upper tip for carving,

and a flat lower tip for scraping

off undesired paste.

The mirrors are cut into the desired

shape, and their edges softened with

another 15 cm. "Kalam" with teethlike

edges. A 10 cm long "chimti" then

comes into play, and the mirrors are

painstakingly placed piece by piece to

form the design.

Panni work is done with thin foil,

available in many colours. The technique

involves outlining the floral

designs on a glass surface, cutting it

out with scissors, and then rubbing it

with a hard stone (known as "hakkik

ka pathar") to create a concave surface.

It is then placed on the outlined

design, and attached with a special

paste made out of a combination of

baked clay, gum and water. The glass

is framed in lime plaster with a slight

gap between it and the wall.

The overall effect is not only threedimensional,

but also catches the light

of the sun or a lamp, and reflects it

with total clarity.

This is an elaborate and time-consuming

art requiring great skill and

precision. Combined with the expense

involved, and changing styles, it has

naturally resulted in considerable loss

of patronage. Today there are only

about a handful of craftsmen in

Rajasthan who have the knowledge of

this technique. It is hoped that in time

to come, patrons for this exquisite

craft will come forward, to offer

opportunities to recreate the magical

world of mirrors. This decorative

work was used on furniture, beds,

stools and baby cribs or "jhulas" and

in days gone by, was perhaps a comparatively

inexpensive style of ornamentation.

For the few existing mirror-

workers, their livelihood depends

on the urban use of their craft. They

normally live in groups, and whole

families may work together, so that

progress is faster. As in the case of all

Indian crafts, the art of mirror-work is

handed down from father to son, and

training imparted on site.

SHONA ADHIKARI

Dhaka airport security at risk : Survey team

Dhaka : Security at Dhaka's Hazrat

Shahjalal International Airport was at risk due

to a shortage of fire-fighting equipment, floodlights,

and poor CCTV camera coverage at

night, a survey team has found.

The team, consisting airport, intelligence,

civil aviation, and fire service officials, conducted

a detailed survey of the airport late last

year and submitted its report to Bangladesh's

Home and Civil Aviation Ministries in

December 2019, The Daily Star newspaper

said in a report on Saturday. A similar survey

was conducted in April 2019 as well and the

latest report said that the recommendations

made in the previous report had been implemented

only in part, putting the airport security

at risk. According to the report, there was a

shortage of firefighting equipment in cargo village

and export area. It termed the areas to be

at risk.

Many tall buildings have been built close to

the airport which also threaten airport security.

The report mentioned that the previous survey

had pointed out the issue, but nothing had been

done in this regard. It strongly recommended

installation of cameras in the asphalt at four

gates so that vehicles entering the airport could

be scanned from underneath.

There were also dark areas in the 1,298-acre

airport as the 57 floodlights could not cover

every corner, The Daily Star quoted the survey

report as saying, adding that CCTV coverage

was also inadequate and many of them did not

have night vision capabilities.

It recommended installation of night-vision

CCTV cameras at a number of places and those

be monitored strictly.

Captain Sajjadul Haq, former general secretary

of Bangladesh Pilot Association, said the

airport seems poorly illuminated but as the airport

extension project was going on, hopefully

things would improve. He said lasers were very

dangerous as a pilot could be temporarily

blinded by them during approach.


6 01-03-2020 to 15-03-2020 ASIA

www.theasianindependent.co.uk

'Financial inclusion of women can boost Pak's GDP by 33%'

Islamabad : Pakistan can boost its

gross domestic product (GDP) by 33 per

cent by ensuring the financial inclusion

of women and girls, according to speakers

at a youth dialogue here. The dialogue

on "Generation equality:

Realising women's rights for an equal

future" was organised by UN Women

Pakistan and the National University of

Sciences and Technology (Nust) here on

Friday, reports Dawn news. Speaking at

the event, Nust Research, Innovation

and Commercialisation Pro-Rector

Nassar Ikram, while highlighting the

varsity's initiatives to urge more women

to enter technical fields, said:

"Education is the most important means

to empower women and girls and will

enable them to take forward the gender

equality agenda."

According to UNDP Pakistan,

women comprise almost half of the

country's population, yet only 22.7 per

cent were part of the labour force.

Even those who are part of the labour

force are largely in the informal sector,

receiving low pay and with few legal

protections.

UN Women Asia Regional Director

Mohammad Naciri said: "It is unfortunate

that we have been fighting for

women's rights for so long... Patriarchy

is essentially a social norm. We need to

disassociate patriarchy from men. "It is

important to change the mindset, speak

with new generations without discriminating

against men and women so that

we can effectively deal with preconceived

notions built on gender discrimination."

Punjab Assembly Standing

Committee on Gender Mainstreaming

Chairperson Uzma Kardar maintained

that to "make sure we leave no one

behind, we must sensitise communities".

"Gender equality should come

naturally to the youth. When women

earn more medals in universities, why

do they get less opportunities in practical

lives?" Kardar queried, while adding

that she was confident that the coming

generation will witness gender equality

in their lifetime.

JNU admin, JNUSU at loggerheads

over shelter for riot victims

New Delhi : After the

Jawaharlal Nehru University's

Students' Union (JNUSU) called

for providing shelter to the Delhi

riot victims inside the campus,

the varsity administration has

issued a warning to the union

against any such step.

The move has now invited yet

another turn to ongoing tussle

between the administration and

JNUSU. "You have no legal

right to make the JNU campus a

shelter, the notice issued by varsity

Registrar Pramod Kumar,"

read.

The university administration

has also warned the students of

disciplinary actions if the students

are found doing so.

"You are strictly advised

against any such activity, failing

which appropriate disciplinary

action will be taken against you.

You are also advised to uphold

the need to keep an educational

institution like JNU a congenial

space for study and research," it

said. It was on Wednesday that

the JNUSU had put posters on

social media announcing "JNU

open for Shelter" and called victims

of Delhi riots to get shelter

in the campus.

However, the notice by the

administration has left JNUSU

red faced, who in return claimed

that the JNU will remain open

for riot victims.

After receiving the letter, the

Vice-President of JNUSU, Saket

Moon tweeted, "While the JNU

Admin's masters in the government

burned Delhi, the JNU

Admin threatens us to turn survivors

of the violence from our

campus."

"JNU was open for shelter in

1984, it shall remain open

today!," Moon added in the

tweet, attaching photographs of

the notice by the administration

and the poster issued by the

JNUSU.

SL govt decides not to sign

$480mn MCC agreement

UK man jailed for

hiding migrants in

'AIRTIGHT' box

London : A UK man has been jailed for three years for cramming

three Vietnamese migrants into a tiny "airtight" roof box on

his car and attempting to smuggle them into Britain, it was reported.

Robert Rooney, 35, stuffed the two men and a teenage girl, into

the box on top of his Ford Focus in France on October 5, 2019 but

was stopped by officers at the UK-controlled zone at the Channel

Tunnel in Coquelles, the Metro newspaper said in a report on

Friday.

Pictures show the three in the space, which is not much bigger

than a suitcase. When he was pulled over, Rooney told the officers

that he "just had camping stuff in there", claiming he did not know

where the keys to open it.

During the sentencing on Friday, Prosecutor Bridget Todd said

the box was "an airtight concealment", adding that there was "no

attempt to put any ventilation in the box. Should the box have

become detached on the motorway, the result would have been catastrophic'".

She added that Rooney had "clearly intended to gain financially",

with people smugglers often charging thousands per person to

bring them into the UK.

It remains unknown if the migrants, who were served with

deportation documents, were being brought into the UK to live or

be exploited for work.

Last year, 39 Vietnamese migrants were found dead in a refrigerated

lorry in Essex county. The migrants, including two 15-yearolds,

were found in the lorry on an industrial estate in Essex on

October 23, 2019 and were mostly from poor and rural areas of

Vietnam's north-central provinces, reports Efe news.

Colombo : The Sri Lankan government

has decided not to sign the $480 million

Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC)

agreement with the US, taking into consideration

the recommendations of a Committee

that found some of its features threaten

national security and welfare of the island

nation, it was reported. The four-member

Committee headed by Professor Lalithasiri

Gunaruwan, which submitted its interim

report to President Gotabaya Rajapaksa last

week, said there were clauses and conditions

in the agreement that would negatively affect

national goals and objectives, sovereignty,

and national security, and were inconsistent

with the legal framework and Constitution,

the Daily Financial Times quoted Minister

Bandula Gunawardena as saying on Friday.

The report was presented to the Cabinet

by Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa on

Thursday following which the decision was

taken not to sign the agreement, he said.

"This agreement was drawn up by the UNP

(United National Party) according to its

whims, without taking the interests of the

country into consideration. We warned about

this during the elections..." Gunawardena

said.

"We are open to discussing this agreement

with the US government, but it will be done

with full transparency. If any agreement is

signed it will be with Cabinet approval as

well as with the consent of Parliament and

the public," he added.

The two components of the MCC programme

are transportation infrastructure

development and land administration, with

$350 million for the transport project, which

was to focus on modernising bus transport

and improving traffic management systems,

while the smaller component of around $60

million was for a plan to improve the land

administration policy in Sri Lanka, said the

Daily Financial Times in the report. Asked if

the Government would reconsider two other

agreements signed with the US government -

- the Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA)

and Acquisition and Cross Services

Agreement (ACSA) -- Gunawardena said the

government would not overturn any agreements

that have already been signed.


www.theasianindependent.co.uk

ASIA

01-03-2020 to 15-03-2020

7

Neutrality at this point of time only

means connivance with hate mongers

The Delhi government sanction to

prosecute sedition charges against former

JNUSU president Kanhaiya

Kumar, Umar Khalid and other unambiguously

reflect the agenda that AAP

is following and all those who

believed that Kejriwal is a different

politician ‘focused’ on governance

model will be shocked, though people

like us who have followed and known

Kejriwal and Anna Hazare’s movement

well would clearly suggest that

what we are witnessing today in the

form of Hindutva nationalism is nothing

but a legitimised outcome of Anna

Hazare movement, a majority of who

were highly anti reservationists and

against very concept social justice. It

is the same people who during 2014

elections had said that ‘Ooper Modi,

Neeche Kejriwal’ but the chronology

of Arvind Kejriwal’s flirtation with

Hindutva can be well judged during

this election for Delhi Assembly

where he refused to say anything

about CAA and said that Shaheen

Bagh protests are hindering the public

traffic and creating obstacles for the

smooth traffic. Afterwards, he continuously

not merely evaded and send

clear signal that he never wanted to be

associated with anything which look

like a support to Muslims, even if

these demands would have been legitimate.

Now when Delhi saw an attempt to

repeat the dark days of 1984, the chief

minister like the other leaders of the

BJP government did not bother to

speak. Rather, he continued with we

are helpless without a police. An

elected chief minister, who got a massive

mandate, Kejriwal might not

have gone to Shaheen Bagh or any

other protests for the fear of the ‘political

compulsions’ but when people are

dying in the street by thugs and goons

openly supported by politicians, it

was his duty as representative of the

people of Delhi to visit these areas

and apply soothing balm but he did

not do so. Why ? Is it because, he

would have seen what his ‘ I love you

Delhi’ people have done to each other.

There is a clear pattern visible

about Delhi’s violence which was

clearly targeted against Muslims

though a number of Hindus too have

got killed in it but the role of police,

BJP leaders should come for scrutiny

including that of all those who raised

slogan of ‘ Goli maaro saalo ko’ and

these were encouraged by the top

leadership. The fact is that there is a

rising competition among the young

‘aspiring’ netas to speak such language

in intimidating and foulest way

to qualify as leader for future.

Kejriwal failed to condemn BJP head

on or ask for an accountability. The

BJP leadership is expert in building

up narrative and hence immediately

after the Delhi violence when the role

of Kapil Mishra came for scrutiny,

there is no action against him, no

police FIR even when the Delhi High

Court Judge strong disapproved

police behavior. Instead, the prime

focus now is on two individuals Tahir

Hussain and Shahrukh who was seen

as wielding a gun on an unarmed

policeman.

The issue is, none defend any one

who was engaged in the crime against

humanity and police must probe,

investigate and arrest all those who

have been engaged but any attempt to

ensure that the blame ultimately go to

Muslims and their leadership will

only expose the police further. The

entire world has seen what has happened

in Delhi and how Muslims

shops and locations were targeted,

how even the Ambulances were not

allowed.

Kejriwal and Aam Admi Party

remained shamelessly silent with one

argument that ‘outsiders’ have done

it. I can bet for the last thirty years,

most of the time whenever such a violence

happen, I have heard this argument

that ‘outsiders’ came which is

superfluous when we see how families

have been targeted, business

institutions, schools, homes were

identified and put to

flames. Outsiders cant do

By Vidya Bhushan Rawat

social and human rights activist

that easily unless there

are insiders actively participating. It

is basically the poison which we have

seen in the past 10 years and particularly

in the aftermath of 2014 victory

of the Hindutva at the national level

that most of their leaders and supporters

have felt that the law cant do anything

to them because the blessings of

the power, the law these days is taking

action against those who are not

with the side of Hindutva. This reality

is grim and extremely disturbing.

And this process started from Rohith

Vemula, to JNU incidents to Bhima

Koregaon and everywhere. It has now

become as if every violence, corruption,

intimidation that the Hindutva

groups are doing is in the ‘national

interests’ and therefore after every big

incidents, they started building up an

alternative narrative and actively supported

by the spineless and propagandist

media.

Today, Kejriwal had the time to

show his spine and strength on the

JNU case. Not that we agree with

what Kanhaiya Kumar says or his

politics but one has to look at the

broader picture of what is the track

record of these individuals and

whether they have been engaged in

any violent or ‘anti national protests’.

Sedition laws like beef and cow protection

act have become our ‘blasphemy

laws’.

These are purely intimidating laws

to keep people’s mouth shut. Kejriwal

took law unto his hand. They tried to

overthrow a duely elected government

in 2011 when Anna sat on

Dharana and in 2013 when Nirbhaya

thing happened. Kejriwal forgot about

his own Lok Pal and after Nirbhaya,

violence against women in India has

not reduced but increased and number

of BJP leaders in these too increased.

Why now silent on the issue. Why this

balancing act.

It is good that the government has

now given approval for cases to be

filed against Kanhaiya and others.

Hope the cases will be fast tracked

and media will not be allowed to

influence or create a Kangaroo court

in their studios to influence the judicial

opinion. Delhi police has not been

able to file a single case against any

one who attacked JNU and Jamia. The

three days of non action of Delhi

police in north east Delhi was clear

example or copy of what Narsimha

Rao did in the aftermath of Indira

Gandhi’s assassination in 1984 when

despite grave situation, the government

did not call for the army and

allowed the goons and thugs to kill the

innocent Sikhs. Such things does not

reflect well for the democracy as well

as image of this country.

Anyway, Kejriwal can do what is

good for Delhi but if he want to communicate

to us that ‘governance’ only

mean ‘bijali, sadak and paani’ then he

is wrong. For a party which want to be

seen as national one, he will have to

come out clean on the issues of security

of minorities, Dalits, women, adivasis.

He will have to speak on the

issues of autonomy of states, federalism,

secularism and caste oppression.

You cant evade important critical

questions and feel good about your so

called ‘governance’ when the very

edifice of our constitution is under the

threat and when one set of people are

being targeted as ‘anti national’,

‘infiltrators’ or parasite’.

Any attempt to look neutral at the

moment will only mean that Aam

Admi Party is not keen on taking a

strong stand and afraid of its savarana

cadres in Delhi who are not different

from those who are spreading poison

in the name of religion and identity.

Vidya Bhushan Rawat is a social

and human rights activist. He blogs

at www.manukhsi.blogspot.com

twitter @freetohumanity

Email: vbrawat@gmail.com

Death toll in ethnic violence in Shillong rises to 3

Shillong : With the fresh incidents of

violence and killing of a 37-year-old youth

on Sunday, the toll in ethnic violence in

Meghalaya rose to three, officials said. The

authorities re-imposed curfew in capital

city Shillong and its outskirts, officials

added. Police said that a 37-year-old man

died after being attacked by some

"unknown miscreants" in Meghalaya's

East Khasi Hills district at the wee hours

on Sunday while fresh violence of incidents

were reported in parts of Shillong

and elsewhere. Internet services were suspended

in six of the eleven districts of

Meghalaya. These include East Jaintia

Hills, West Jaintia Hills, East Khasi Hills,

Ri-Bhoi, West Khasi Hills and South West

Khasi Hills. According to police, one

Uphas Uddin was seriously injured in

attack by three "unknown miscreants" at

his home at Pyrken village under Shella

police station. He was brought to Khamati

primary health centre but the doctor

declared him brought dead.

Following sporadic incidents of violence

in parts of Shillong, East Khasi Hills

District administration has re-imposed curfew

from 8 a.m. on Sunday morning in the

areas under Lumdengjiri police station,

Sardar police station and entire areas of the

Cantonment Beat House of Shillong city.

Some people attacked Rajua Karim, 31, an

employee of Meghalaya Basin

Development Agency at Mawthabah,

(Mawsyram) and seriously injured him. He

was admitted to hospital early on Sunday.

In another incident, miscreants hurled a

petrol bomb at the residential complex of

Lakshmi Bareh at Pynthorbah Block-4,

Shillong. However, none was injured or

property damaged in the incident. Arsons

and stone pelting have been reported from

different parts of the state since Friday

night. Central Para-Military Forces have

been deployed along with the state forces

in the trouble-torn areas. A migrant worker

Rupsang Dewan, 29, was stabbed to

death at a market in Shillong on Saturday.


8 01-03-2020 to 15-03-2020 ASIA

www.theasianindependent.co.uk

CHINESE CLASSICS:

Arts Practice &

the Community New

Exhibition in The Gallery, the Library of

Birmingham 6th March to 31st May

Opening launch and drinks reception

Library of Birmingham, 18.00 – 20.00 pm on 5th March.

Please register if you wish to attend.

A visual arts project exploring the relevance of Chinese classical literature today,

through dialogue and discovery between artists and the Chinese community in

Birmingham, using three pieces of Chinese classical literature:

The Butterfly Lovers (Tang dynasty 618-906)

Strange Stories from a Chinese Studio (1740) by Pu Songling

Classic of Mountains and Seas (3rd Century B.C. to the 1st Century A.D.)

Regional and international artists, Frances Yeung, Leah Lovett and Joey Chin, developed

these classics and texts into original artworks, in collaboration with older women,

men aged 40+ and carers from the Chinese Community Centre – Birmingham.

Curated by Dr Rachel Marsden, the exhibition will also include contributions from,

and documentation of, the Chinese community to celebrate their art practice, and references

to Library of Birmingham and Cadbury Research Library collections.

Chinese Classics: Arts Practice & the Community is a partnership project between

the Chinese Community Centre – Birmingham (CCC-B) and Library of Birmingham,

Birmingham City Council, as part of China West Midlands 2020 (CWM2020), supported

by an Arts Council National Lottery Project Grant and Penguin Random House.

UP school clerk turns his house

into exam centre, booked

Deoria : A school clerk in

Uttar Pradesh has been found

using his house as an examination

centre of the state board to

help students cheat in the Class

12 test in Deoria district.

Eleven people have been

arrested in connection with the

case, while the clerk is on the

run.

Police sources said that a raid

at the clerk's home, which is just

some metres away from the private

school where he works,

unearthed several stamped

answer sheets. They are stamped

as a security feature to prevent

cheating. A team of 'test solvers' worked on

stamped answer sheets, which would be

later added to the answer sheets of students,

the police said. When the policemen

entered the clerk's home in a surprise raid,

the 'answer solvers' were seen writing on

the sheets with question papers placed next

to them.

A video taken by the police shows an

inspector asking boys and girls present at

the clerk's home what they were doing and

why they were in the house. One of the

girls can be heard saying, "We are solving

exam papers."

The police said they are in the process of

identifying other school employees

involved. At least two students who

allegedly paid for their test papers to be

Even damaged livers

can handle medicines

for diabetes, BP

solved at the clerk's home have

been identified.

An estimated 56 lakh students

are taking the UP board's Class

10 and Class 12 exams. The state

government has set up a monitoring

unit and the exam centres

have CCTV camera coverage.

The Uttar Pradesh Secondary

Education Board (UPSEB) has

identified 938 centres as "sensitive"

and 395 as "hyper-sensitive",

suggesting that these centres

are vulnerable to such practices.

In a first, the state government

has also launched a Twitter handle

for immediate resolution of complaints

and queries. In addition, helpline numbers

for the control room, e-mail id and toll-free

numbers can be used to register complaints

of anything related to the board examination.

Earlier last month, a school principal

in UP was arrested after he was caught on

camera giving tips to students on cheating

in board exams.

York :

People with diabetes,

hypertension and

depression might be

able to continue taking

life saving medications

in small

doses even while they

heal from druginduced

liver injuries,

suggests new

research. The findings,

published in the

journal Drug

Metabolism and

Disposition, suggests

that doctors need not

always make patients

with drug-induced

liver injury stop taking all their

medications until the liver

healed.

Drug-induced liver injury --

when a person accidentally

harms their liver by taking

medications prescribed by a

doctor (or occasionally over the

counter drugs) -- affects about

almost 1 million people globally.

"Doctors give patients drugs

to treat diseases. No one wants

their liver damaged, but it happens

all the time," said Xiaobo

Zhong from the University of

Connecticut in the US.

When a person takes a medication

by mouth, it goes into

their stomach and then to the

intestines, where it is absorbed

into the blood. This blood, in

turn, passes first through the

liver before reaching the rest of

the body. The liver has

enzymes that break down medicines.

But different people naturally

have more or less of

these enzymes. Sometimes,

what could be a safe and effective

dose in one person is too

much for someone else who has

different enzyme levels.

This is why some individuals

are more vulnerable to liver

damage, even when taking

drugs just as a doctor prescribed.

There is no standard

guidance for doctors when a

patient gets drug-induced liver

damage. Often times they tell

the person to stop taking all

medications immediately and

wait for their liver to recover.

But that can take weeks or

months.

"But if patients have chronic

conditions such as diabetes,

hypertension, or depression,

their conditions can run out of

control," if they stop taking the

Dubai : A Dubai-based

Indian teen, who has released

51 covers and two original

songs on her YouTube channel,

has received over a million

views on one of her compositions

on the videosharing

site, a

media report said.

The 15-year-old

Shirene Sanjay's

first original song,

"Chalte Chalte"

that was released six months

ago, got more than one million

views, Gulf News said in a

report on Friday.

In total, her eponymous

channel has received more than

three million views since its

launch on November 5, 2017.

She has so far released 51

covers and two original songs

on her YouTube channel. A

grade 11 student of Delhi

Private School Dubai, Shirene

sings in English, Hindi and

medications, Zhong said.

And that can be life threatening.

The researchers tested

whether mice whose livers had

been damaged by acetaminophen

(the active ingredient in

Tylenol) had lower levels of

drug metabolising enzymes,

called cytochrome P450

enzymes. The researchers

investigated whether mice with

drug-induced liver damage can

safely take medications for diabetes,

hypertension and depression.

It looks like they can, as

long as the doses are much

smaller than normal, said the

study. Because the damaged

liver does not break down the

medications as efficiently, they

are just as effective at these

lower doses. The team still has

to test whether these results

hold in humans.

Dubai-based Indian

teen's song gets 1mn

YouTube views

Punjabi, her mother tongue.

"My mother has told me that as

a baby, I used to crave two

things-food and music. So,

indeed music has been a fulfilling

element in my life," the

teenager said in an

interview to Gulf

News.

Her first public

performance was at

the Guru Nanank

Darbar Gurudwara

in Dubai's Jebel Ali, following

which she started getting more

appreciation for her vocal talent.

"A lot of encouragement

from my family, especially my

maternal grand mum, inspired

me to start official training in

music. "I would like to be a

playback singer and also do

some shows to get more audience

appreciation," said

Shirene, who admires the

singing talents of Beyonce and

A.R. Rahman.


www.theasianindependent.co.uk ASIA 01-03-2020 to 15-03-2020 9

Democracy is hypocrisy as long as

‘Wall’ of Shame exists in INDIA

World’s two ‘biggest’ and ‘greatest’

‘democracies are exhibiting their

strength today in the most undemocratic

way. Gun trotting policemen and

security agencies will cover the entire

Ahmadabad today particularly the

routes where Donald Trump and

Narendra Modi are ‘ road show’. Here,

the people cant come at their own but at

the whims of the rulers and Trump is

expecting 10 million people on the

road, perhaps he wish to see and ‘cherish’

India’s millions as he narrated this

on a number of occasions on his twitter

handle and to the crowd of Republican

party in the United States.

Both the leaders are loudspeakers

and love themselves too much. They

speak of their ‘country first’ and nothing

else. As Modi is a great Hindu,

Trump is a great Christian and feel that

India must favor America while Indians

feel that they will do more than what

they can to ‘please’ the Americans.

Indian right wingers even in the heydays

of the cold war never liked our

proximity to Soviet Union and always

wanted to be ‘acknowledged’ by the

Americans.

Today, when American president is

here it is reflected clearly of what Baba

Saheb Ambedkar long back said our

society. He said, this society cant treat

any one as equal as it believes in

‘ascending order of reverence and

descending order of contempt’.

President Trump would watch

‘Vasudhaiv Kutumbkam’ that India is

‘known’ for which always ’embrace’

the guests provided they must be ‘white

skinned’ and have ‘dollors’ in their

pocket. Our Vasudhaiv Kutumbkam is

never meant for those who are considered

to be ‘below’ us. The wall of

Shame and contempt that is erected

from the airport till Motera Stadium

only shows how we try to cover up our

poverty. If Gujarat government was so

worried about that Trump should not

watch the poverty, actually it exists in

the minds of the policy planners.

For the last few days there were various

stories of shame from Gujarat but

neither media nor political leadership in

Gujarat and at the national capital bothered

about. The girls in a college in

Bhuj were humiliated and the hostel

warden asked them to remove their

cloths so that she can sheck whether

they were menstruating or not. Similar

news report has come from Surat where

Surat Municipal Corporation run state

government hospital had a fitness test

for Women Probationers after three

years. And these women were humiliated

in public as outdated and rejected

finger test was done to them to check

their ‘fitness’. The women were standing

naked for nearly two hours. Think

of the trauma and humiliation they

might have faced. It is reported nearly

400 women were made to suffer in utter

humiliation. Question is why there is

not much hue and cry ? Why Gujaratis

who are so ‘international’ dont even

feel shame over it ? Why they keep

quiet. They have been very vocal on

Hindutva and defending it.

If reports are to be believed such

humiliating practice of checking

women’s fitness exists and it only got

exposed when some of the women who

felt humiliated and reported to some of

their friends and colleagues while many

refused to go

for the ‘fitness’

test out

By Vidya Bhushan Rawat

social and human rights activist

of fear of humiliation. The other day,

we found reports of the same kind of

humiliation on girl student in a technical

institute of Bhuj being run by

Swaminarayan people and it is their

duty to explain whether they still feel

that woman are impure because the

menstruate. We have heard that some of

the parents defending it as they felt it is

Ahmedabad : Prime Minister Narendra Modi receives US President Donald

Trump and First Lady Melania Trump on their arrival at the Sardar

Vallabhbhai Patel International Airport in Ahmedabad on Feb 24, 2020. A red

carpet welcome was given to Trump and Melania on Monday amid sounds of

conch shells after their Air Force One landed at Ahmedabad Airport. Trump is

accompanied by his daughter Ivanka and a 12-member delegation.

better to face some humiliation than

their daughter getting into a relationship

and then getting pregnant. It is deeply

disturbing to hear such kind of narratives

but what is more shameful is the

silence in the state and media virtually

not making it an issue. Political opposition

has become virtually bankrupt in

ideas as it does not raise these issues.

Violence against Dalit is quite high in

Gujarat and I have written many time

there is a pattern to it in the form of

Economic boycott so that people cant

raise their head. For many days, young

SC-ST-OBC students and aspirants for

the government jobs are sitting on

protests at Gandhi Nagar against the

failure of the state government

to honestly

implement the reservation

policy but it has not

got any support from the

media and the political

class. Now, Gujarat is ‘welcoming’

Donald Trump and we say ‘athithi devo

bhav’ but we cant allow our poor people

to come to the street and welcome the

‘guests’. We only ‘welcome’

athiGujarat model is basically successful

in hiding the dirty realities of the

state, its below the standard education

system, its highly caste prejudiced societies

and how it has handed over the

public land to a few cronies, some of

whom may be in the dinner table

tonight rubbing their shoulders with

global business and political elite.

We hope one day international media

will find time and space to discuss this

‘model’ of ‘development’ which isolate

millions for the ‘happiness’ and ‘success’

of a few. Those who will be travelling

in the cavalcade from Airport to

Motera Stadium, should find time to just

cross the wall and meet the people who

are declared as ‘unseeable’ by the

Gujarat government and listen to their

pains and agonies. The wall constructed

on the entire way is the wall of not

merely shame but hidden apartheid that

exists in our villages everywhere and

must be exposed now. Democracy will

only be a hypocrisy as long as such

walls exists.

Vidya Bhushan Rawat is a social

and human rights activist. He blogs

at www.manukhsi.blogspot.com

twitter @freetohumanity

Email: vbrawat@gmail.com

Int'l community hails US-Taliban deal, urges peace in Afghanistan

Doha : The international community

has welcomed the signing of the historic

US-Taliban peace agreement as an

important step in achieving a lasting

political settlement in Afghanistan.

Representatives of the US and the

Taliban on Saturday signed the longawaited

deal in the Qatari capital city of

Doha, calling for a gradual withdrawal

of American troops if the militants

negotiates with the Afghan government

and cuts ties with terrorist groups,

reports Xinhua news agency.

According to the deal, the US is

going to reduce its troops to 8,600 in

Afghanistan within 135 days, and will,

together with its NATO allies, completely

pull out the remaining one in the

following 14 months if the Taliban stuck

to its commitments.

The pact also sets the

stage for intra-Afghan

talks which were

expected by March 10.

Speaking at the White

House on Saturday,

US President Donald

Trump said that the

first withdrawals were

starting "immediately" and he expected

to "personally" meet Taliban leaders in

the near future. Meanwhile, the Taliban

said in a statement that it had reached an

agreement "about the termination of

occupation of Afghanistan".

"The accord about the complete

withdrawal of all foreign forces from

Afghanistan and never intervening in its

affairs in the future is undoubtedly a

great achievement," it added.

Addressing the signing ceremony,

Qatari Foreign Minister Sheikh

Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani

expressed hope that "this historic agreement

will contribute to achieving peace,

stability and prosperity in the region and

the world". UN Secretary-General

Antonio Guterres on Saturday welcomed

the "efforts to achieve a lasting

political settlement in Afghanistan" following

the deal.

"The Secretary-General welcomes

efforts to achieve a lasting political settlement

in Afghanistan. Today's events

in Doha and Kabul mark important

developments in this regard," UN

spokesman Stephane Dujarric said in a

statement.

"The Secretary-General stresses the

importance of sustaining the nationwide

reduction in violence, for the benefit of

all Afghans. He encourages continued

efforts by all parties to create an

enabling environment for the intra-

Afghan negotiations and a comprehensive

peace process," the statement said.

Calling the signing of the deal the

beginning of a "reconciliation process,"

Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan

said that his country was committed to

playing its role in ensuring the agreement

holds and succeeds in bringing

peace to Afghanistan.

"We welcome the Doha Accord

signed between US & the Taliban. This

is the start of a peace & reconciliation

process to end decades of war & suffering

of the Afghan people," he tweeted.

Saudi Arabia on Saturday also welcomed

the signing of the deal.

The deal would contribute to bringing

stability back to Afghanistan and

promote regional and international

security, the Saudi Foreign Ministry

said in a statement.


10 01-03-2020 to 15-03-2020 ASIA

www.theasianindependent.co.uk

Will vandalism, arson,

killings stop in India?

The germs of arson, killings

and vandalism run through blood

of Hindu organizations. There is

no denying the fact that the Hindu

outfits got extraordinary power to

organize communal violence

across India under the nose of

Narendra Modi. These powerful

Hindu outfits feels that they want

to correct history so whatever they

are doing is correct. The act of

vandalism began in the prestigious

Jawaharlal

Nehru

University(JNU) when goons

affiliated to the Akhil Bharatiya

Vidyarthi Parishad(ABVP), a student

wing affiliated to the ruling

dispensation, entered JNU campus in the middle of

the night and beaten students mercilessly. It is unfortunate

the police could not arrest the criminals till

date despite CCTV footage.

The same set of people entered Jamia Millia

Islamia University and beaten boys and girls without

any guilt or shame. The girls reported that the goons

hit their private parts. There is no arrest of such goons

till date despite CCTV footage. The same set of people

did not rest and went to Shaheen Bagh, a place in

the capital of India, and disturbed the peaceful gathering

of women who are sitting on indefinite protest

against Citizenship Act (CAA). CAA deny entry of

Muslims from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan.

The same set of people again did not rest when

they entered a girls college in Delhi where annual college

function was being celebrated. The goons

touched girl students` private parts and run away. As

per Principal of the college, police did not bother

about who was entering in the college despite gate

pass. The same set of people with the support of the

ruling dispensation did not rest. They organized

arson, looting during maiden visit of US President

Donald Trump. While Prime Minister Modi was discussing

and signing the deals with US President

Donald Trump, miscreants with the help of the police

were dancing on the streets of the capital with pistol

in hand; burning & looting shops . People lost their

life and property during arson and looting in Delhi but

the central as well as state government is found blaming

each other. It is awfully strange that the government

is so weak as not to identify and catch them. If

the ruling government is so weak how it will face formidable

enemy like China and Pakistan in the battlefield.

Experts assert that Delhi violence was organized

by the same set of people to show US President

Donald Trump that Muslims in India agitating against

Citizenship Amendment Act(CAA). During his maiden

visit to India, the US President Donald Trump

seems to be convinced that it is the Muslims who are

the trouble shooters in the globe. President very nicely

said that “ CAA is an internal issue of India” His

statement made in India will definitely strengthen the

hands of leaders of US Hindu organizations who are

working day and night to tell the Americans that it is

the Muslims who are agitating against CAA, the rest

of the religious communities appreciated this step

taken by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Narendra

Modi should sit and think about internal issues of the

country.

The RSS leaders must sit with the leaders of the

BJP and discuss with all parties to resolve burning

issues. People of India gave Narendra Modi full five

years from 2014-2019 to promote image of India in

the international arena. Let us suppose he has done a

commendable work to convince the leaders of foreign

countries that his government is sincerely working for

religious freedom. Let us also suppose he has been

making strenuous efforts to bring peace and normalcy

to the valley of Kashmir despite a threat from

Pakistan. India has already slid to social, religious

anarchy. No citizen can afford to bear arson, vandalism

and killings anymore. India needs Indian Modi

not a foreigner Modi.

– Dr Rahul Kumar

Govt paid Rs 4.71 lakh cr

interest, Rs 2.62 lakh cr

on subsidies till Jan 20

New Delhi : The Government has

spent Rs 4.71 lakh crore on interest payments

and Rs 2.62 lakh crore on subsidies

up to January 2020, monthly account of

the Union government stated on Saturday.

Total expenditure incurred by the government

of India is Rs 22,68,329 crore

(84.06% of corresponding RE 19-20), out

of which Rs 20,00,595 crore is on revenue

account and Rs 2,67,734 crore is on capital

account. Out of the total revenue

expenditure, Rs 4,71,916 crore is on

account of interest payments and Rs

2,62,978 crore on account of major subsidies,

it said. The government has received

Rs 12,82,857 crore (66.41% of corresponding

RE 19-20 of Total Receipts) up to

January 2020 comprising Rs 9,98,037

crore tax revenue (Net to Centre), ARs

2,52,083 crore of Non Tax Revenue and

Rs 32,737 crore of Non Debt Capital

Receipts.

Non-debt capital receipts consist of

recovery of loans (Rs 14,386 crore) and

disinvestment proceeds (Rs 18,351 crore).

As much as Rs 5,30,735 crore has been

transferred to state governments as devolution

of share of taxes by government of

India up to this period which is Rs 11,003

crore lower than the previous year, the

Finance Ministry said. On Friday, the

National Statistical Organisation stated the

April-January fiscal deficit has reached

128.5% of Rs 7.67 lakh crore revised

FY20 target. The fiscal deficit is the shortfall

in a government's income compared

with its spending. It essentially means that

the government is spending more than its

means. Finance Minister Nirmala

Sitharaman has set a fiscal deficit target of

3.5% of GDP for the year ending March

2021. The government is about to miss the

deficit target for the third year in a row,

pushing shortfall to 3.8 per cent of the

GDP in the current fiscal as compared to

3.3 per cent previously planned.

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www.theasianindependent.co.uk

New Delhi : Even as authorities see

a huge heritage tourism potential of

Rakhigarh village in Hisar district of

Haryana and is making efforts in this

regard, villagers are obviously fearful of

what the future holds for them, including

their sources of livelihood.

For a small village that does not even

have a proper garbage disposal system

in place, the Culture and Tourism

Ministry plans to give Rakhigarhi a

completely new identity, including a

museum on the Harappan culture that

would be the world's biggest.

The village is about 150 km to the

northwest of Delhi. It is not exactly

Rakhigarhi that is of interest to the

world at large, but 'teelas' or mounds

nearby that hide within them the remnants

of the largest Indus Valley civilisation

sites, even larger than Mohenjodaro

in Sind in Pakistan that is dated

around 2,500 BCE. Rakhigarhi is also

said to be the site of a pre-Indus Valley

civilisation settlement dating back to

about 6,500 BCE. Later, it was part of

the mature Indus Valley civilisation,

dating back to 2,600-1,900 BCE.

The archaeological excavations on

the mounds adjoining the village in the

past have revealed human remains and

artefacts of Harappan and pre-Harappan

civilisations, which have been kept at

the Hisar archaeology office near

Jhajpul.

Now with the plan afoot to construct

a museum, villagers have welcomed the

initiative but are wary too. Landless

ASIA

GOVT SEES TOURISM potential in

Rakhigarhi, villagers fear livelihood loss

farmers who depend heavily on livestock

to make a living point out they

will have to leave the land holding

traces of Harappan civilisation below.

The villagers claim the government is

offering them flats in lieu of land, which

will mean they will have to discontinue

rearing of livestock, their only source of

income. "I currently own 500 square

yards, while they are offering me a flat

of 100 sq yards. Why should I leave my

land? How will I rear cows and buffaloes

in a flat?" griped Satbeer, an elderly

farmer. The authorities point out

that Satbeer and over 160 other landless

farmers like him are actually settled illegally

on the mounds and that offering

flats is the best the administration can

01-03-2020 to 15-03-2020

11

do as limited land was available to compensate

affected farmers.

The Archaeological Survey of India

has been able to get hold of just 83.5

acres of the 350 hectares spanning 11

mounds ever since the process began in

1996, encroachments and pending court

cases have drastically slowed down the

excavations.

ASI's Chandigarh Circle archaeologist

Zulfeqar Ali said the ASI has been

able to excavate only five per cent of the

land in the village since 1996. Union

Tourism and Cultural Minister Prahlad

Singh Patel visited the village on

Sunday to act as a facilitators between

authorities and residents. Patel interacted

with both sides and took note of

issues involved. He announced that the

panchayat will come with a plan to

move forward and put it before authorities

and then both sides will try to find a

middle path. He offered to mediate.

"Let's fix a date. You tell me when

can you sit with the farmers; I will join

in the discussions," Patel was seen

telling the area SDM.

"There is no way we will move ahead

without the cooperation of locals. I propose

that the panchayat comes out with

a plan to be discussed with authorities,"

Patel added.

Till such time arrives, farmers are

using the mounds to dry cow dung

cakes and throw plastic waste. No surprise

that the site that boasts of nurturing

one of the oldest civilizations in the

world once upon a time at present can

be mistaken for a garbage dump.

Eating walnut linked to healthy life in women

New York : Women in their late 50s

and early 60s who consumed at least

two servings of walnuts per week had a

greater likelihood of healthy aging compared

to those who did not eat walnuts,

researchers have found. In the study,

published in the Journal of Aging

Research, "healthy aging" was defined

as longevity with sound mental health

and no major chronic diseases, cognitive

issues or physical impairments following

the age of 65. Previous research

found that eating walnuts may have a

positive impact on reducing the risk for

physical impairments in older adults as

well as cognitive decline.

Additionally, others in the same

research group have found decreases in

cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes

- all conditions that become more

common as we age.

There is no one solution to slowing

down the effects of aging, but adopting

the right habits, like snacking on a handful

of walnuts, can help.

In this study, the researcher Francine

Grodstein from Brigham and Women's

Hospital in the US, looked at data from

33,931 women in the Nurses' Health

Study (NHS) to evaluate the association

between nut consumption and overall

health and well-being in aging. Between

1998-2002, female nurses in the NHS

were asked about their diet (including

total nut consumption); evaluated for

chronic diseases (such as cancer, heart

attack, heart failure, stroke, type 2 diabetes

and Parkinson's disease); and

assessed for memory concerns, mental

health and physical limitations (including

daily activities like walking one

block, climbing a flight of stairs,

bathing, dressing oneself and pushing a

vacuum cleaner). Of the study participants,

16 per cent were found to be

"healthy agers," defined as having no

major chronic diseases, reported memory

impairment or physical disabilities as

well as having intact mental health.

Although previous research has connected

a healthy diet, including walnuts,

to better physical function among older

men and women, this study only included

women. According to the

researchers, more research is needed to

understand if these results hold true

among men.

Additionally, participants were not

assigned to eat walnuts or other foods;

they were simply asked about their

dietary choices. As an observational

study, this does not prove cause and

effect. However, the research does shed

light on simple habits that can influence

health during later years in life - such as

eating walnuts, the researchers said.

On kanshi TV

channel 772.

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12 01-03-2020 to 15-03-2020 BUSINESS

www.theasianindependent.co.uk

Volatility likely amid Covid-19 fears, macro data

Mumbai : After the Indian markets

witnessed one of its worst single-day

falls on Friday, experts expect volatility

to continue in the coming week.

Investors will have a keen eye on

the purchasing managers' index (PMI)

and the auto sales numbers, to be

released during the week. Persistent

concerns in the global markets over

coronavirus (Covid-19) and possibilities

of it turning into a pandemic could

weigh on the domestic markets too,

analysts said. The subdued gross

domestic product (GDP) data for the

October-December quarter, released

on Friday, is also likely to make its

mark on the markets this week.

Slowdown continued to hamper

India's economic activity as Q3FY20

GDP growth rate was 4.7 per cent

against the revised estimate of 5.1 per

cent reported for the previous quarter.

As per the data, the revised Q2 GDP

growth rate stood at 5.1 per cent from

the earlier 4.5 per cent. "The risk to the

markets increases. Longer the infection

lasts, more widespread it gets.

The numbers, regarding the spread of

the disease, and how far it can be contained

will drive the markets next

week. Measures by the governments

to boost respective economies will

also be watched out for, after the

Chinese government support to bolster

the economy," said Vinod Nair, Head

of Research at Geojit Financial

Services. Nair said the slowdown in

global economic growth might continue

for some time, until the virus was

contained, and it might not happen

very fast. But the recovery has to happen

and investors would do well to be

focused on the long-term potential of

the markets, he added.

Siddhartha Khemka, Head of Retail

Research at Motilal Oswal Financial

Services, said, "Investors are fearful

that it might lead to global recession as

the outbreak is spreading to the

world's largest economy - the USA as

well as Europe, which will adversely

impact big time the global supply

chains, including India, and derail

economic growth."

Continuous selling by foreign institutional

investors also dented the sentiments,

he added. "The markets will

continue to remain volatile and weak

till spread of coronavirus is controlled,"

Khemka said. According

Navneet Munot, CIO of SBI Funds

Management, the coronavirus shock

may have acted as a trigger for the markets

anyway, waiting for correction.

"While it's too early to estimate the

exact impact, it's likely that policy

action will have to stay growth supportive.

Yet as growth continue to

struggle, even with all the monetary

accommodation, it only suggests that

monetary policy has hit its limits. It

only reaffirms our belief that fiscal

policy will have to play a major role

going forward to take the global economy

out of this prolonged slump,"

Munot said. Deepak Jasani of HDFC

Securities said, "In the coming week,

auto stocks will be in focus as auto

companies will start announcing

monthly sales numbers for February,

starting on 1 March."

The Markit Manufacturing PMI for

February will be declared on Monday

and Markit Services PMI on

Wednesday. Auto sales numbers for

February, scheduled on Sunday and

Monday, will be major factor for the

auto stocks. Maruti Suzuki India and

Mahindra & Mahindra on Sunday

announced sales numbers for last

month, which came on the lower side.

Maruti Suzuki reported a 1.1 per

cent year-on-year (YoY) fall in

February sales at 1,47,110 units, while

Mahindra reported a 42 per cent fall at

32,476 units.

On the technical front, Deepak

Jasani said, 11,090 would be a major

support for the Nifty50, else the current

downtrend is likely to continue.

The index would find resistance at

11,385-11,536, he said.

On Friday, the Nifty50 closed at

11,201.75, lower by 431.55 points or

3.71 per cent from its previous close.

The Sensex closed 1,448.37 points or

3.64 per cent lower at 38,297.29

points.

Manufacturing falls to

historic low in CHINA

Mukesh

Ambani calls

on Andhra

Pradesh CM

Amaravati : Reliance Group

Chairman Mukesh Ambani on

Saturday met Andhra Pradesh Chief

Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy and

held discussions regarding industries,

investments and Reliance Group’s collaboration

with state government programmes

in education and health sectors.

Mukesh Ambani arrived in

Vijayawada by a special aircraft and

later drove to the Chief Minister’s residence

at Tadepalli in Amaravati. Jagan

Mohan Reddy received the industrialist

and had a two-hour long meeting with

him. According to the Chief Minister’s

Office, they discussed the Nadu-Nedu

scheme aimed at transforming government

schools and other welfare programmes

implemented by the YSR

Congress Party government (YSRCP)

in the state.

This was the first meeting between

the two since the Jagan Mohan Reddyled

YSRCP stormed to power in May

last year. Mukesh Ambani and his son

Ananth Ambani had congratulated

Jagan Mohan Reddy for the election

victory. Earlier, YSRCP MP Vijayasai

Reddy welcomed Mukesh Ambani at

the Gannavaran airport. Rajya Sabha

member Parimal Natwani was also

present during the meeting.

Beijing, China’s manufacturing

industry registered

its worst data in February

since official record keeping

began in 2005, with the

benchmark indicator

Purchasing Managers Index

(PMI) plummeting 14.3

points, the National Bureau

of Statistics said on

Saturday. This is a heavy

blow for analysts, who

expected a drop in the PMI,

but of only 4 to 5 points

compared to the January

data, reports Efe news. The

coronavirus crisis caused a

decline in the manufacturing

industry in February, far greater

than that recorded in its worst

reading so far in November 2008

during the global financial crisis

(38.8 points).

A figure above 50 points

implies growth and below that

implies contraction.

For context, the average recorded

in the 12 months of 2019 – the

year in which the Chinese economy

was affected by the trade war

with the US – was 49.7 points.

In the breakdown by company

size, large companies fell 14.1

points to 36.3, but medium and

small companies suffered even

more at 35.5 and 34.1, respectively.

The five sub-indices that make

up the manufacturing PMI registered

falls of between 13.2 and

23.5 integers: the production index

stood at 27.8 points; that of new

orders at 29.3; that of employment

at 31.8; the delivery time used by

suppliers at 32.1, and the provision

of raw materials at 33.9.

The hit was even worse in businesses

not related to manufacturing,

the PMI of which had never

registered a contraction since

record keeping began in 2007 and

went from being at 54.1 points in

January to 29.6 in February after a

drop of 24.5 points.

In this case, experts of the specialized

website Trading

Economics predicted a fall of just

over 7 points.

The services sector, which represents

more than half of the country’s

GDP, lost 23 points in

February ending at 30.1.

The NBS indicated that, in the

breakdown of these businesses,

only those related to financial and

monetary services and capital

market services remained in the

expansion zone.

Meanwhile, the institution also

highlighted that other sectors such

as telecommunications, radio and

television services, satellite transmission

and Internet, software and

information technology were in

the contraction zone, but much

higher than the average of the

services sector. A fact that highlights

economic pessimism in

China is the index of expected

economic activity, which measures

the confidence of non-manufacturing

companies in future market

development: it fell 19.6 points

to 40. The comprehensive PMI

production index, combining manufacturing

and non-manufacturing

industries, also registered a drop

never seen before, although in its

case it only started being published

in 2017. It went from 53 to

28.9 points after a 24.1 drop.

Meanwhile, China on Saturday

confirmed 427 new coronavirus

cases and 47 more deaths throughout

the day on Friday, representing

a rebound of 31 per cent in new

infections compared to the previous

day, while deaths on Friday

exceeded 7 per cent from a day

earlier.

The number of deaths so far in

China stands at 2,835 and the

number of confirmed cases at

79,251, the latest National Health

Commission announced on

Saturday.

GST collection up

8.3% in February at

Rs 1.05 lakh cr

New Delhi : The gross Goods and

Services Tax (GST) revenue collection in the

month of February stayed above the Rs 1

lakh crore mark for the fourth consecutive

month, at Rs 1.05 lakh crore.

GST collection last month was 8.35 per

cent higher than Rs 97,247 crore reported

during the same period last year.

Out of the total collection of Rs 1.05 lakh

crore, CGST was Rs 20,569 crore and SGST

was Rs 27,348 crore, an official statement

said. IGST collection stood at Rs 48,503

crore, including Rs 20,745 crore collected

on imports and cess collected was Rs 8,947

crore, including Rs 1,040 crore collected on

imports. The total number of GSTR 3B

Returns filed for the month of January up to

February 29 is 83 lakh. "The GST revenues

during the month of February, 2020 from

domestic transactions has shown a growth of

12 per cent over the revenue during the

month of February, 2019," said a Finance

Ministry statement. Taking into account the

GST collected from import of goods, the

total revenue during this February has

increased by 8 per cent in comparison to the

revenue during February last year "During

this month, the GST on import of goods has

shown a negative growth of (-) 2 per cent as

compared to February, 2019." The government

settled Rs 22,586 crore to CGST and

Rs 16,553 crore to SGST from IGST as regular

settlement. The total revenue earned by

Central Government and the state governments

after regular settlement in the month

of February 2020 was Rs 43,155 crore for

CGST and Rs 43,901 crore for the SGST.


www.theasianindependent.co.uk

HEALTH

01-03-2020 to 15-03-2020

13

7 best vitamins for athletes

Bananas, figs, avocados and raspberries, nuts and seeds,

legumes, seafood and vegetables are a good source

In the world of health and fitness,

a balanced diet coupled

with a healthy lifestyle is the

foundation for athletes to

build on their bodies, keep

their energy levels high to

beat fatigue and perform at

their best. While all vitamins

and minerals are crucial and

essential for the overall

health and fitness, here are

the top seven nutrients that

are very instrumental in

building performance for

athletes.

Omega 3

Omega 3 fatty acids help regulate

one’s hormones and the heart rate, and

lower blood pressure. The biggest

source of omega 3 is fish oils, which are

very good for cardiovascular health

besides strengthening the muscles and

joints. They also act as good supplements

to one’s mental health.

Magnesium

Magnesium regulates neuromuscular,

cardiovascular, immune, and hormonal

functioning. Lack of magnesium

in an athlete’s diet can lead to muscle

weakness and fatigue, injury and can

affect one’s mental well-being. Good

Sydney : Experiencing chronic job

insecurity can change your personality for

the worse, say researchers, adding that

those exposed to job insecurity over more

than four years became less emotionally

stable, less agreeable, and less conscientious.

The study, published in the Journal of

Applied Psychology, built on a growing

evidence base about the negative consequences

of job insecurity. “Traditionally,

we’ve thought about the short-term consequences

of job insecurity—that it hurts

your well-being, physical health, sense of

self-esteem,” said study researcher Lena

Wang from RMIT University in Australia.

“But now we are looking at how that actually

changes who you are as a person over

time, a long-term consequence that you may

not even be aware of,” Wang added. The

study used nationally representative data

from the Household, Income and Labour

Dynamics in Australia (HILDA) Survey in

relation to answers about job security and

personality for 1,046 employees over a nineyear

period.

It applied a well-established personality

sources of magnesium include green

leafy vegetables, fruits like bananas,

figs, avocado and raspberries, nuts and

seeds, legumes, seafood and vegetables

like peas, broccoli, brussels, and

sprouts among others.

Vitamin D3

The kind of high intensity training

undertaken by athletes puts a lot of

pressure on the bones and joints.

framework known as the Big Five, which

categorises human personality into five

broad traits: emotional stability, agreeableness,

conscientiousness, extraversion and

openness. The study results showed that

long-term job insecurity negatively affected

the first three traits, which relate to a person’s

tendency to reliably achieve goals, get

along with others, and cope with stress. The

researchers said the results went against

some assumptions about job insecurity.

Fragile bones will eventually lead to

injuries and impair development. That

is why Vitamin D3 is very essential for

increasing calcium absorption and

strengthening the immune system (by

fighting free radicals). Sunlight is the

best source of Vitamin D but there are

foods rich in Vitamin D like egg yolks,

fatty fish like tuna, mackerel and

salmon, soy milk, cheese among others

Job insecurity may negatively

affect your PERSONALITY

“Some might believe that insecure

work increases productivity

because workers will work harder

to keep their jobs, but our research

suggests this may not be the case if

job insecurity persists,” Wang said.

“We found that those chronically

exposed to job insecurity are in fact

more likely to withdraw their effort

and shy away from building strong,

positive working relationships,

which can undermine their productivity

in the long run,” Wang added.

Previous research has shown

that insecure work—including

labour hire practices, contract and casual

work, and underemployment—is on the rise

in Australia and globally. The HILDA data

drew on responses from employees from a

broad cross-section of professions and jobs,

who were asked about how secure they perceived

their jobs to be. The researchers said

that types of job insecurity might include

short-term contracts or casual work, jobs

threatened by automation, and positions that

could be in line for a redundancy.

Vitamins

B-vitamins like thiamine,

riboflavin, niacin, pyridoxine (B6),

pantothenic acid, biotin, folate, and

B12, are important requirements for

any athlete because they are involved in

energy production while working out

and micro-nutrients like folate and B12

are required to produce red blood cells,

protein synthesis, and in tissue repair

and maintenance. Popular sources of

vitamins are whole grains, eggs and

dairy products, red meat, fish, legumes,

seeds and nuts, and dark leafy vegetables

among others.

Iron

Very active individuals and athletes

who train for more than six hours every

day need to be wary of iron-deficiency

anaemia because they would be burning

their iron stores faster than sedentary

and non-athletic people. Iron helps red

blood cells carry oxygen throughout the

body. Rapid loss of iron will reduce

endurance and make one dull and

lethargic. Foods like dark green leafy

vegetables, lentils, legumes, nuts and

seeds, whole grains and dry fruits are

rich sources of iron

Vitamin C

Vitamin C has immune-boosting

properties and is especially an essential

vitamin for athletes training outdoors

because it prevents airborne viruses and

common colds. Rich sources of Vitamin

C are citrus fruits and strawberries, and

vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower,

and capsicum among others.

Vitamin E

While Vitamin E does not improve

overall athletic performance, it is an

important antioxidant for athletes

because it prevents oxidative cellular

damage, reduces the risk of picking up

viruses from public spaces, increases

one’s anaerobic threshold, lowers output

of pentane and lactic acid, and eases

muscle cramps.

Apple Watch helps save

life of teen athlete

San Francisco : An Oklahoma teen athlete, Skylar Joslin, has

credited his Apple

Watch for saving

his life after the

device notified him

of his abnormally

rapid heart rate.

The boy

received an alert on

his two-week old

Apple Watch stating

he had a high

heart rate of 190

beats per minute

(bpm), despite being seated in class. He immediately texted a screenshot

of the alert to his mother, Liz Joslin, AppleInsider reported.

"I got a text message along with a screenshot of his heart rate that

was 190, the following message saying, mommy, there is something

wrong. I am not doing anything," Liz said.

She rushed her son to the hospital as his heart rate continued to

climb even further and went as high as 280 bpm.

The teen was later diagnosed with a condition called

Supraventricular Tachycardia, or SVT, which causes a rapid heartbeat

that weakens the heart over time. He had to undergo an eighthour

heart surgery in order to fix his rhythm, and will be the face of

the Oklahoma American Heart Association Heart Walk on April 25.

"If I wouldn't have gotten his Apple Watch, I don't know that I

would've ever known," Liz noted.

"I mean it's unknown how long it would've been going on or how

long it would've really taken."


14 01-03-2020 to 15-03-2020 HEALTH

www.theasianindependent.co.uk

Common acid reflux

drug may help women

reduce preterm birth

New York : 16 Researchers

have found that Lansoprazole,

an over-the-counter acid reflux

drug that is often taken by pregnant

women, may be a promising

therapy to reduce preterm

birth. The study, published in

the journal JCI Insight also

identified 12 other USFDAapproved

drugs that are deemed

safe in pregnancy. While the

drugs encompass a variety of

modalities, the researchers said

they all appear to act on biological

pathways that affect the

immune response, which is

implicated in preterm birth.

“Inflammation clearly plays a

role in initiating labour and preterm birth.

Immune pathways are very significantly dysregulated

in women who end up delivering

preterm, and they’re also dysregulated in

babies who are born early,” said said study

senior author Marina Sirota from University

of California. “However, we have seen from

our previous work that there is an interaction

between the maternal and fetal immune systems

and a breakdown in maternal-fetal tolerance,”

Sirota added.

To identify candidate drugs that might be

effective in preventing preterm birth, the

researchers first looked at which genes were

up- or down-regulated in the blood cells of

women who experienced spontaneous

preterm birth to identify a gene expression

“signature.” Then they looked for the opposite

signature in cells that had been exposed

to 1,309 different drugs, reasoning that if a

drug could correct the effects that preterm

birth had on the women’s blood cells, the

drugs might also prevent preterm birth itself.

The researchers identified 83 drug candidates,

but when they excluded those found

to have pregnancy risks in animal or human

studies, they wound up with 13 drugs,

ranked according to their “reversal score,” a

measure of the extent to which they were

able to reverse the gene expression signature

of preterm birth. The scientists chose lansoprazole

for further testing because, in addition

to its high reversal score, it is available

over the counter, and they know from their

previous work that it affects a stressresponse

protein, heme oxygenase-1,

that has been linked

with pregnancy disorders.

Lansoprazole, which is a proton-pump

inhibitor marketed as

Prevacid, had the second-highest

reversal score of the 13

drugs identified as being safe

and effective. Progesterone was

further down the list. The

researchers tested lansoprazole

in pregnant mice that had been

given a bacterial component to

induce inflammation, which

causes some fetuses to die in

utero, where they are reabsorbed.

When these mice were

given lansoprazole, they had

more viable fetuses. Lansoprazole also

worked better in these mice than progesterone.

Although it is a good measure of how

inflammation affects pregnancy in mice, the

researhers said the fetal resorption mouse

model is not an adequate model of human

preterm birth. They said more work, including

studies in people, would need to be done

before lansoprazole or any of the dozen

other drugs they identified could be proven

effective in pregnant women at risk for

preterm birth. “This, basically, is a proof of

concept that this drug has anti-inflammatory

properties, which are not the properties the

drug was designed for, this is a short way to

get to new therapeutics for known diseases,”

said study author David K Stevenson.

Dairy milk intake may

up breast cancer risk

New York : Researchers have found that even relatively moderate

amounts of dairy

milk consumption can

increase women's risk

of breast cancer -- up

to 80 per cent depending

on the amount consumed.

"Fairly strong

evidence that either

dairy milk or some

other factor closely

related to drinking

dairy milk is a cause of

breast cancer in women," said study first author Gary E. Fraser

from Loma Linda University in the US.

"Consuming as little as 1/4 to 1/3 cup of dairy milk per day was

associated with an increased risk of breast cancer of 30 per cent,"

Fraser said. By drinking up to one cup per day, the associated risk

went up to 50 per cent, and for those drinking two to three cups per

day, the risk increased further to 70 per cent to 80 per cent, the

researchers said. For the findings, published in the International

Journal of Epidemiology, dietary intakes of nearly 53,000 North

American women were evaluated for the study, all of whom were

initially free of cancer and were followed for nearly eight years.

Dietary intakes were estimated from food frequency questionnaires

(FFQ), also repeated 24 hour recalls, and a baseline questionnaire

had questions about demographics, family history of breast

cancer, physical activity, alcohol consumption, hormonal and other

medication use, breast cancer screening, and reproductive and gynecological

history. By the end of the study period, there were 1,057

new breast cancer cases during follow-up. No clear associations

were found between soy products and breast cancer, independent of

dairy. But, when compared to low or no milk consumption, higher

intakes of dairy calories and dairy milk were associated with greater

risk of breast cancer, independent of soy intake, the study said. The

researchers noted that the results had minimal variation when comparing

intake of full fat versus reduced or nonfat milks; there were

no important associations noted with cheese and yogurt. "However,"

he said, "dairy foods, especially milk, were associated with

increased risk, and the data predicted a marked reduction in risk

associated with substituting soymilk for dairy milk."

According to the researchers, possible reasons for these associations

between breast cancer and dairy milk may be the sex hormone

content of dairy milk, as the cows are of course lactating, and often

about 75 per cent of the dairy herd is pregnant.

Govt completes molecular mapping

of active pharma INGREDIENTS

New Delhi : The government has

done a molecule-by-molecule mapping

of Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients

(APIs) imported from China to ramp up

domestic production and imports from

third party sources in view of the supply

chain disruptions due to the coronavirus

epidemic.

The government is also preparing for

making special arrangements for APIs

that still need sourcing from China.

In an exclusive interview to IANS,

the government's Principal Economic

Advisor Sanjeev Sanyal said that

though the country has API stocks for at

least three weeks, they have already

completed molecular mapping of the

ingredients required for manufacturing

of essential pharmaceuticals, domestically.

"If after three weeks, if we need to

airlift special consignments, arrangements

for that too will be made," he said

asserting that there was no need for

panic. The Indian pharma industry

heavily relies on imports of bulk drugs

(APIs and intermediates), with more

than 50 per cent of API coming from

China. Imports from China have been

on a steady rise over the years due to the

low-cost advantage Chinese manufacturers

have. The value addition in India

is mainly through formulation, packaging

and distribution.

The coronavirus outbreak has disrupted

supplies of pharmaceutical ingredients

from China, resulting in shortages

and potential price rise of generic

drugs in India.

Sanyal said the government took preemptive

measures and "has been continuously

making micro-interventions to

keep supply chains functional as best as

can be done." Some of the critical

imported APIs, he said, can be produced

in India for which certification is

required. "We have speeded up internal

certification for third party sources and

as well as ramped up domestic production

wherever possible. We are capable

of producing some of it in India," he

said, adding that importers are also

being allowed to self-certify where documentation

is incomplete due to office

disruptions in China, with the understanding

that they will later submit all

the paper work. This has been done for

other critical manufacturing inputs as

well. The economic advisor said that the

government was also prepared for the

bunching of supplies when the situation

normalizes in China. "If and when

bunching of supplies happens, we have

set up the system and improved coordination

to fast process the critical ingredients

and other inputs," he said.

According to Confederation of

Indian Industries (CII) data, India also

sources close to 90 per cent of certain

mobile phone parts from China. The

world's largest manufacturer and

exporter, China also accounts for 45

per cent of India's total electronics

imports, one-third of machinery and

almost two-fifths of organic chemicals

and over 25 per cent of automotive

parts and fertilizers. Sanyal said the

government was already making

arrangements for imports from alternative

countries which are still insulated

the coronavirus epidemic.

"Certifications and paper work are

being put in place at the ports for

imports from other sources," he said.


www.theasianindependent.co.uk

HEALTH

CORONAVIRUS cases

surge to 100 in France

Paris : The number of coronavirus

cases in Italy has jumped to 400 as French

Health General Director Jerome Salomon

announced 43 new cases of the disease on

Saturday. “This tally is due to an important

cluster in l’Oise which has 36 cases,”

Salomon said, adding that “it’s necessary

to curb the virus’ evolution, slow its spread

and protect areas with little or no infection”.

The infected people had either interacted

with already known patients or travelled

recently to zones of risk, Xinhua

reported. Earlier in the day, Health

Minister Olivier Veran said “all gatherings

of more than 5,000 people in confined

spaces will be cancelled as well as “events

in an open environment where people can

mix with others from areas where the virus

is possibly circulating.”

As a result, a Paris half-marathon that

was due to be held on Sunday with more

than 40,000 runners has been canceled, and

the annual farm show will close a day early

on Saturday.

In l’Oise, north France and the southeastern

region of Haute-Savoie, where the

largest two clusters had been detected, all

gatherings will be banned and residents are

advised to limit their journeys and switch

to working from home if possible. In the

country’s northern department, some

26,123 students had been recommended to

stay at home as about 100 schools

remained closed until further notice.

As the second stage in the epidemic has

been reached with the virus circulating

across French regions, French Prime

Minister Edouard Philippe stressed “our

health system is solid and we have all

weapons to cope (with the virus)”. He

added that border closures would be “useless”

and placing cities into lockdown

“does not meet the expected objectives”.

France, the first in Europe to detect the

COVID-19 on January 24, has reported

two coronavirus deaths. 86 patients are in

hospital, including 9 cases in critical situation,

and 12 have been cured.

01-03-2020 to 15-03-2020

15

Childhood physical abuse leads

to heavy CIGARETTE use

New York : Researchers have found that children who have

been abused, mistreated or neglected

at home are more likely to start

smoking cigarettes and other substances.

The study, published in the

journal Substance Use & Misuse,

showed that physical abuse of children

in high-risk homes, especially

when they're toddlers or teens, dramatically

increases the odds that

their adolescent experimentation

with cigarettes will lead to a heavy

smoking habit. For the findings, the study examined data on children

who were at high risk for abuse and neglect -- either because

they had been referred to a child protective service or lived in conditions

associated with the likelihood of maltreatment or both. "I

wanted to look at different types of maltreatment and whether they

have an impact on cigarette smoking," said study lead author Susan

Yoon, Assistant Professor at Ohio State University in the US.

"Adolescent cigarette smoking is a really serious social problem

and public health concern. Brain development is not complete until

late adolescence or during young adulthood, and cigarette smoking

is associated with damage in brain development," Yoon said.

"We also know that those who start smoking cigarettes during

adolescence are more likely to continue smoking into adulthood,"

Yoon added. For the results, the research team used data on 903

adolescents, who were assessed at age 12, 16 and 18.

A breakdown of different types of abuse and neglect experienced

by the sample population during three different time periods

(early childhood, school age and adolescence) confirmed how vulnerable

these kids were. The researchers used their responses

about smoking between the ages of 12 and 18 to identify three patterns

of cigarette use: stable low/no use (61 per cent of respondents),

gradually increasing use (30 per cent) and sharply increasing

cigarette use (nine per cent). "It was almost shocking how the

pattern of cigarette use over time went up so drastically in the

sharply increasing use class," Yoon said. "They were pretty similar

to the others at age 12 -- almost 80 percent didn't smoke. At age

16, we saw that almost 60 per cent had used cigarettes more than

20 days in the past year and by 18, every single kid in this group

reported heavy use of cigarettes," Yoon added.

Wine glass size may influence

how much you DRINK

Simple blood test can help

reduce heart disease deaths

London : Researchers have revealed how a simple blood test

could be used to help identify cardiovascular ageing and the risk of

heart disease. The study, published in the Journal of the American

College of Cardiology, reported that higher levels of amyloid-beta

in the blood may be a key indicator of cardiovascular disease.

Amyloid-beta is known to be involved in the development of

Alzheimer's disease, yet researchers have now concluded that it

may have a key role to play in vascular stiffening, thickening of the

arteries, heart failure and heart disease progression. It is hoped that

this research will one day lead to the development of a simple

blood test that could be used as a clinical biomarker to identify

patients who are most at risk, so that preventative measures can be

put in place and death rates reduced. "Our work has created and put

all the pieces of the puzzle together. For the first time, we have

provided evidence of the involvement of amyloid-beta in early and

later stages of cardiovascular disease," said study researcher

Konstantinos Stellos from Newcastle University in the UK.

For the findings, the research team analysed blood samples

from more than 6,600 patients from multiple cohort studies in

nine countries, and found that patients could be divided into

high and low risk categories of heart disease based on their amyloid-beta

levels. "What is really exciting is that we were able to

reproduce these unexpected, clinically meaningful findings in

patients from around the world. In all cases, we observed that

amyloid-beta is a biomarker of cardiovascular ageing and of cardiovascular

disease prognosis," Stellos added. The study proposed

the existence of a common link between both conditions,

which has not been acknowledged before, and could lead to better

patient care.

London : The size of glass

used for serving wine can influence

the amount of wine drunk,

say researchers, adding that

when restaurants served wine

in 370ml rather than 300ml

glasses they sold more wine,

and tended to sell less when

they used 250ml glasses. The

preliminary study, published in

the journal Addiction, suggested

that serving wine in larger

wine glasses -- while keeping

the same measure -- led to a

significant increase in the

amount of wine sold.

"Pouring wine from a bottle

or a carafe, as happens for most

wine sold in restaurants, allows

people to pour more than a

standard serving size, and this

effect may increase with the

size of the glass and the bottle,"

said study first author Mark

Pilling from University of

Cambridge in the UK. "If these

larger portions are still perceived

to be 'a glass', then we

would expect people to buy and

consume more wine with larger

glasses," Pilling added.

To provide a robust estimate

of the effect of the wine glass

size on sales -- a proxy for consumption

-- the research team

did a 'mega-analysis' that

brought together all of their

previously published datasets

from studies carried out

between 2015 and 2018 at bars

and restaurants in Cambridge.

The team used 300ml glasses

as the reference level against

which to compare the differences

in consumption. In

restaurants, when glass size

was increased to 370ml, wine

sales increased by 7.3 per cent,

the study said. Reducing the

glass size to 250ml led to a

drop of 9.6 per cent, although

confidence intervals (the range

of values within which the

researchers can be fairly certain

their true value lies) make this

figure uncertain.

Curiously, increasing the

glass size further to 450ml

made no difference compared

to using 300ml glasses, the

researchers said.

"When smaller glass sizes of

250ml are available, they may

also appear similar to 300ml

glasses, but result in a smaller

amount of wine being poured,"

Pilling said. "In contrast, very

large glasses, such as the 450ml

glasses, are more obviously

larger, so drinkers may have

taken conscious measures to

reduce how much they drink,

such as drinking more slowly

or pouring with greater caution,"

Pilling added.

The researchers also found

similar internal patterns to

those reported in previous studies,

namely lower sales of wine

on warmer days and much

higher sales on Fridays and

Saturdays than on Mondays.

The researchers found no

significant differences in wine

sales by glass size in bars -- in

contrast to the team's earlier

study. This shows the importance

of replicating research to

increase our ability to detect the

effects of wine glass size.

According to the study,

when combined with data from

other experiments, the apparent

effect in bars disappeared.


16 01-03-2020 to 15-03-2020 ENTERTAINMENT

www.theasianindependent.co.uk

‘Indian Idol 11’ winner Sunny on recreating

NUSRAT FATEH ALI KHAN’S songs

Mumbai : Sunny Hindustani, the

shoeshine boy from Bathinda in

Punjab, bagged Bollywood projects

even before he was announced the

winner of “Indian Idol 11”. During the

course of the singing reality show, his

choice of songs were mostly the ones

sung by Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan. The

“bhakt” (devotee) of the late legendary

Sufi vocalist-musician would

like to take a step forward, if he gets

the chance, and give a fresh twist to

Khan’s songs in films, too.

Many drew comparisons between

him and the late singer when he participated

in the recently concluded

show. Sunny modestly underplays

such talk, and insists he is “nothing” in

comparison.

“One thing makes me happy that

my name is associated with a legendary

singer like him. I don’t deserve

it though. I can’t be like him but I

would like to earn a name like him. I

am not his fan but a ‘bhakt’,” Sunny

told IANS here after his victory.

With recreations being the current

flavour of Bollywood, would he like

to come up with his own version of

Khan’s songs for a film?

“His famous ones are already out

like ‘Mere rashke qamar’ and ‘Sanu ek

pal chain naa aave’. I will have to look

for the song if an opportunity comes

like this. I will see the film’s situation

and select the song accordingly,” said

the young singer. As of now, he is letting

his victory sink in. “When I was

announced as the winner… the happiness,

I can’t express. I am speechless,”

he said. His mother had lifted the trophy

with him on the stage.

“When my name was announced, I

saw a huge smile on her face. It felt

really good,” he said. Looking back at

his journey from Punjab to Mumbai,

he recalled: “I had fought with my

mother. A friend had told me about the

audition. My friends used to say that I

sing very well and asked me to try my

hand at it. I gave it a shot.” “Our conditions

at home were not good. Dad

had passed away when I was just 12

years old. My mother said that there

was no money and that nothing would

happen. I told her that I would borrow

Mandy Moore almost

gave up acting before

'THIS IS US'

Los Angeles : Singer-actress Mandy Moore considered quitting

acting before landing her career-making role in the hit TV

show "This Is Us". Moore was more well known for her singing

than her acting in 2015, although had starred in relatively successful

movies such as "A Walk to Remember" and "Because I

Said So" by that time, reports aceshowbiz.com.

She wasn't sure she had what it takes to make it -- with the

constant knock-backs taking their toll.

"I had done four failed TV pilots... So, I was kind of at the

point where I was like, Maybe this acting thing is done for me.

Like, Maybe I need to hang it up and go back to Florida, go to

school, go try my hand at something else," Moore said in an

interview with "CBS Sunday Morning". She persevered, and

achieved a whole new fan base through her role as Rebecca

Pearson in "This Is Us". Elsewhere in the interview, she spoke

about her marriage to Ryan Adams. The pair wed in 2009 and

finalised their divorce in 2016, with the 35-year-old actress

admitting her troubled relationship contributed to her low selfworth.

"I just felt like I was at a point in my life where I was the most

comfortable making myself the least priority, and I made myself

as small as possible in order to make someone else comfortable,"

she said.

money from someone. Then I left for

the audition,” he added.

With just Rs 3000 in his bag, he

reached Mumbai — often called as the

city of dreams — and won hearts of

everyone through his flawless voice.

He was also awarded with a cheque

of Rs 25 lakh from Sony

Entertainment Television, a car and

one song contract with T-Series in

their next movie. Rs 25 lakh is a huge

amount. “I have a sister. I will save

some money for her marriage. Mother

had a tough life. I will help her lead a

leisure life. I will also spend some

amount on my music career,” said the

singer, who has already relocated to

Mumbai. He has already sung songs

for to his songs in films like “Panga”

and “The Body”. Was playback

singing always on his mind? “I used to

think that there would be a day when

my songs would feature in films but

it’s not like I put in effort to be a

singer. I hadn’t done any preparation

for this. I just came with a limited

number of songs and God heard me

out,” said Sunny.

TIGER Shroff's sister locks

lips with beau at aquarium

Mumbai : Actor Tiger Shroff's sister

Krishna Shroff shared a love-filled photograph

with her beau Eban Hyams, which

has gone viral on social media.

Krishna and Hyams were posing in front

of an aquarium that many reported to be

Dubai's Atlantis, The Palm.

The two can be seen sharing a kiss and

Krishna captioned it: "My favourite fish in

the sea." A few days earlier, Jackie Shroff's

daughter had shared another picture of the

two of them from Bondi Beach, Australia.

According to reports, Krishna is the

owner of a gym while Hyams is a professional

basketball player.

Hailey Baldwin's 'party trick'

made Justin Bieber call her

Los Angeles : Model Hailey Baldwin

has shared the party trick that made her

now-husband Justin Bieber give her a call

and reconcile after the two took a break

from their relationship. During her appearance

on "The Tonight Show Starring

Jimmy Fallon", the model was asked "Did

you do any party tricks?"

"Well, I say this because the last time

you were on our show, you did something

that was the most amazing thing ever.

Everybody was talking about it, you

opened a beer bottle with your teeth," said

Fallon, reports people.com. Hailey found it

"really fun and there's actually another

funny story behind this and that is that last

time I was here, we did this little party trick

where I opened a Corona bottle with my

teeth". "The next morning --

after the interview had aired -

- I got a certain phone call

from a certain someone and it

was a little like, ‘Hey, how

are you? I saw you on Jimmy

Fallon last night. You were

looking really good. I loved

that trick that you did, I had

no idea that you can do that.

It was so cool'. Cut to, I'm

now married to that certain

someone," she said. Fallon

later said that the model initially met

Bieber when she was just 13 years old in

2009. "I know, it sounds like this weird

arranged marriage situation. We met

because my dad, he brought me to the

'Today' show when Justin

performed there. He was no

more than 15 I think," she

recalled. When asked if she

was a fan of the singer at the

time, she said that she was

not.

"To be honest, this is the

truth. He was so new that I

didn't really know a lot

about him yet," she said.

"It was really kinda

before anything. I met him

and his mom and my dad kind of just connected

as friends and we invited them over

to our house the next day. Him and his

mom just came over for family dinner with

me and my family and we went bowling."


www.theasianindependent.co.uk

Diljit Dosanjh photoshops

himself with Ivanka Trump

Mumbai : Actor-singer

Diljit Dosanjh hilariously photoshopped

himself in a picture of

Ivanka Trump posing in front of

the Taj Mahal.

Diljit took to Instagram on

Sunday afternoon, where he

shared a photograph of himself

on the bench, where Ivanka sat

and got clicked in front of the

Taj Mahal. He captioned it: "Me

and Ivanka. Piche hee Pey Gaee

Kehndi Taj Mahal Jana Taj

Mahal Jana... #tajmahal Mai

Fer Ley Geya Hor Ki Karda ??

(She went after me to see the

Taj Mahal. Then I took her,

what else could I have done?)"

The photograph currently has

over 146K likes on the photosharing

website. The image,

which Diljit photograph himself

into, was taken during US

President Donald Trump's visit

last week. He was accompanied

by his wife Melania Trump,

daughter Ivanka and son-in-law

Jared Kushner.

Kylie shares cute pic

of ‘love of her life’

Los Angeles, Reality

TV star Kylie Jenner

recently posted an adorable

picture of her daughter

Stormi on Instagram.

In the image, the twoyear-old

kid is seen puffing

out her lips and holding a

bejewelled handbag in her

hand. “Love of my life,”

she captioned the image.

Reacting to the image, a

user commented: “cute

daughter.”

Another one wrote: “So

lovely.” The post comes after the cosmetics billionaire tried to

trademark her daughter’s name recently, reports pagesix.com.

Shweta Tiwari, kids live it up

at her brother’s wedding

Mumbai : Actress Shweta Tiwari was recently seen having a

good time at her brother

Nidhaans wedding,

which she attended with

her daughter Palak and

son Reyansh.

Shweta and her kids

turned out colour-coordinated

in vibrant hues

of orange, saffron and

yellow, and made quite a

collective statement in

ethnic style going by

pictures she has posted

on Instagram. Seen in

the photos is also

Nidhaan’s wife Yasmin.

“Khushiyaaann!

@palaktiwarii @yasmin8388

#nidwedsyas

#nidyas,” Shweta wrote

as caption to the frames.

She also posted family portraits of the whole family from the

wedding, where apart from Shweta, her kids, her brother and sister-in-law,

one can spot her parents.

ENTERTAINMENT

Mumbai : Veteran Actor Govind Namdev, who is

known for his villainous streak in movies like "OMG -

Oh My God!" and "Bandit Queen", has joined the cast of

"Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2" starring Kartik Aaryan and Kiara

Advani. "I'm playing a pivotal role in the film. I'm shooting

in Jaipur. It feels really great to work with such talented

actors of this generation. Kiara Advani is the finest

actress and Kartik is a heartthrob. Both have given hit

films in the recent times and I really admire their work

and talent," Govind said. "So it feels great to work with

such a star cast. They really give a lot of respect to me.

Anees Bazmee (director) is exceptionally phenomenal.

Altogether, it's amazing," he added.

The second schedule of the film will start in Lucknow

by the first week of March. "Bhool Bhulaiyaa", directed

by Priyadarshan, released in 2007. The film was an official

remake of the 1993 Malayalam film

"Manichitrathazhu". The film also featured Shiney Ahuja,

Vidya Balan, Ameesha Patel, Paresh Rawal, Manoj Joshi,

Asrani, Rajpal Yadav and Vikram Gokhale. Vidya's performance

in "Bhool Bhulaiyaa" is still considered iconic

and regarded as one of her best to date. Govind recently

shot with superstar Salman Khan for "Radhe".

01-03-2020 to 15-03-2020

17

Govind Namdev

joins the cast of

'Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2'

Big B wraps up shooting

for 'BRAHMASTRA'

Mumbai : Megastar Amitabh

Bachchan has wrapped up shooting

for Ayan Mukerji's

"Brahmastra". Big B took to his

blog on Saturday, where he

shared a string of photographs

from the sets of the film, which

also stars Ranbir Kapoor and

Alia Bhatt. "So they tell me its a

'film wrap' for me on

'Brahmastra'. And, as is the norm

the unit applauds and everyone

embraces and the good byes are

done. At times they set off some

confetti guns... its the done thing

they say... really? Sounds more

like 'thank God, good riddance'.

Good riddance of the actor... had

enough of him," Amitabh wrote.

The megastar also shared a

photograph of Ranbir gifting the

thespian head phones.

"A gift of the Apple ear plugs

that had been left unpacked was

initiated by the young comp

savvy mobile savvy young. As in

Ranbir on set, who sets it up for

me. The sound is really good.

Had seen it on Abhishek and

wondered. But it really is good.

Thank you.

The 77-year-old star took to

Twitter, where he wrote that

Ranbir taught him and set up the

sound ear plugs.

"Good riddance of the wires

and cables," he wrote. Big B on

Instagram shared photograph of

Alia and captioned it: "She

breezed in... did her shot... a

huddle and out. The effervescent,

supremely talented, scintillating

Alia." "Brahmastra: Part

One" is set to release in five languages

-- Hindi, Tamil, Telugu,

Kannada and Malayalam -- on

December 4. The film also stars

Nagarjuna and Mouni Roy.

Kartik, Kiara strike romantic pose surrounded by 'witches'

Jaipur : Actors Kartik Aaryan and Kiara

Advani, who are currently shooting here for

their upcoming film "Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2",

shared a photograph from the film's set.

In the image, Kartik and Kiara can be seen

looking at each other, while they are surrounded

by several crew women with their hair covering

their faces. He captioned the image:

"Pyaar mein itne bhi andhe mat ho jao, Ki

Chudail bhi na dikhein... #BhoolBhulaiyaa2...

(Don't be so blinded in love that you don't see

the witch)."

"Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2" is directed by Anees

Bazmee. "Bhool Bhulaiyaa", directed by

Priyadarshan and starring Akshay Kumar with

Vidya Balan and Shiney Ahuja, was released in

2007. The film was an official remake of the

1993 Malayalam film "Manichitrathazhu".


18 01-03-2020 to 15-03-2020 ENTERTAINMENT

www.theasianindependent.co.uk

When Shraddha Kapoor

fussed over cuss words!

Mumbai, Director Ahmed Khan has spilled the

beans on the time when Shraddha Kapoor struggled to

get her dialogues right. This happened during the

shoot of the upcoming film, “Baaghi 3”.

“On the first day of shoot, Shraddha was practicing

how to deliver cuss words, as her character demands

the same. My wife had come on set and she couldn’t

figure what Shraddha was trying to do, as it looked

weird. After rehearsing for quite some time, Shraddha

came to me saying, ‘sir, I am not able to deliver cuss

words the way they are supposed to be said’. The

film’s writer Farhad Samji came to her rescue. He

trained Shraddha to perfect her dialogue delivery of

cuss words by training her on the rhythm as well,”

revealed the director, on “The Kapil Sharma Show”,

aired on Sony TV.

The third instalment of “Baaghi” brings back Tiger

Shroff in the starring role. The film is scheduled to

release on March 6.

Shruti Haasan admits to

getting plastic surgery

Chennai, Actress Shruti Haasan recently

took to her Instagram page to slam

bodyshaming while admitting that she had

gone under the knife. Having undergone

plastic surgery, she says she neither advocates

it nor is against it, adding that she

chooses to live that way. In a long yet brave

post, Kamal Haasan’s daughter said: “I’m

not one driven by other people’s opinions

of me but the constant commenting and

she’s too fat now she’s too thin is so

avoidable. These two pictures have been

taken three days apart.

I’m sure there are women out there who

relate to what I’m going to say. Most often

I’m at the mercy of my hormones mentally

and physically and over the years I

work hard to try and have a healthy relationship

with it. It isn’t easy. The pain isn’t

easy the physical changes aren’t easy but

what’s become easier to me is to share my

journey. No one famous or not is in a position

to judge another person. Ever. That’s

just not cool. I’m happy to say this is my

life my face and yes I’ve had plastic surgery

which I’m not ashamed to admit. Do

I promote it ? No am I against it ? No —

it’s just how I choose to live. The biggest

favour we can do for ourselves and others

is just be and learn to accept the changes

and the movement of our bodies and

minds.” She ended the note saying she is

learning to love herself a little more

everyday “because the greatest love

story of my life is with myself and I

hope yours is too”.

A few weeks ago in an interview

with actress Lakshmi Manchu,

Shruti Haasan opened up on her

battle with depression, and overcoming

alcoholism. “I was trying

to heal myself. I stopped caring

about what people were saying. I

had to figure it all out. I took a

one year break,” Shruti said.

Shruti Haasan will soon be seen

in the Telugu film “Krack”

opposite Ravi Teja, and the

Tamil film “Laabam” opposite

Vijay Sethupathi.

Raveena Tandon takes an auto

to niece's mehendi ceremony

Mumbai : Ditching the luxury of

swanky cars, Bollywood actress Raveena

Tandon jumped into an auto to attend her

niece's mehendi ceremony.

Raveena took an auto ride with her

daughter Rasha. The actress, who is all set

to make her comeback into in films with

"KGF: Chapter 2", took to Instagram to

share a video of her journey.

"Jumped into an auto , as was getting

late waiting for the car to go for my niece's

mehndi ceremony . All decked up, Rasha

and me , and a lovely auto ride ! ???? viva

la mumbai Autowallahs! Total saviours!"

she captioned the video.

She shared another clip, where the auto

driver told was seen telling the actress

about all the films he has seen starring

her.

"To all those who asked if he

recognised! Yes he did, Arshad chicha

turned out to be a fan and well wisher!

Chatted with him a bit before

leaving," she captioned the second

video. "KGF: Chapter 2" will release

worldwide in Kannada, Tamil,

Telugu, Malayalam and Hindi.

The film is a follow-up of the

2018 Kannada blockbuster "KGF:

Chapter 1", which starred Kannada

star Yash with Tamannaah Bhatia and

Ananth Nag.

Bhagyashree: Recall

of separation from

hubby still scares me

Mumbai : Actress Bhagyashree shot to fame with her 1989

debut film “Maine

Pyar Kiya” opposite

Salman Khan. Then,

even as she was being

touted as Bollywood’s

next big thing, she

announced her marriage

to Himalaya,

who was an aspiring

actor then, and subsequently

became a

businessman. The

early marriage took a

toll on her fledgling

career and she never

quite managed to

make a comeback.

While Bhagyashree

and hubby Himalaya

have always known to

be deeply in love, she

has now revealed that

there was a one-and-a-half year phase when she had to stay

away from him.

In a video posted by celebrity lensperson Viral Bhayani on

Instagram, the 51-year-old actress is seen interacting at an event.

In the video, she says: “Himalaya ji was my first love and, yes,

I got married to him. Lekin ek arsa tha beech mein jab hum juda

ho gaye the (However, there was a period of time in between

when we were separated).”

Bhagyashree continued to say that the period of separation

made her mull over the question of what would happen if she

had not married Himalaya. “I had that feeling that ‘what if I hadn’t

got him in my life and I had married someone else?’ It got me

to that stage because there was a period of a year and a half that

we weren’t together. Woh ehsaas abhi bhi yaad aata hai toh darr

lagta hai (recalling that feeling still scares me).”

Back in the day it had been reported how Bhagyashree and

Himalaya got married in a hush-hush temple ceremony against

the wishes of their parents, in the presence of Salman and

“Maine Pyar Kiya” director Sooraj Barjatya among a handful of

close friends and colleagues.

Bhagyashree’s son Abhimanyu Dassani is now an aspiring

actor. He has a couple of projects lined up this year. In

“Nikamma”, he will be seen opposite debutante actress Shirley

Setia, while Shilpa Shetty makes a comeback in the film. That

apart, Abhimanyu has also signed “Aankh Micholi” opposite

“Super 30a actress Mrunal Thakur. The film directed by “OMG:

Oh My God” maker Umesh Shukla also stars Sharman Jshi,

Divya Dutta, Paresh Rawal, Grusha Kapoor, Abhishek Banerjee,

Darshan Jariwala and Vijay Raaz.

Chitrangda Singh : I love

handloom craft of Bengal

Kolkata : Actress Chitrangda Singh was in town to shoot for

her upcoming film “Bob

Biswas”, and she made

most of her stay by going

on a sari shopping spree.

The “Hazaaron

Khwaishein Aisi” actress

traversed the length and

breadth of Gariahat and

Hatibagan, areas that are

considered to be street

shoppers’ paradise.

“I absolutely love the

handloom craft of

Bengal. It was one of the

main reasons why I was excited about being stationed in

Kolkata. I bought saris fashioned from Murshidabadi silk, tussar

silk and the famous Baluchari sari,” said Chitrangda. The spinoff

movie that the actress is shooting for tells the backstory of

the assassin Bob Biswas in Sujoy Ghosh’s 2012 Vidya Balanstarrer,

“Kahaani”. Although Bob Biswas was brilliantly performed

by Bengali actor Saswata Chatterjee in that film,

Abhishek Bachchan will star in the title role of the spin-off flick.

Ghosh co-produces the film with Shah Rukh Khan, while Diya

Annapurna Ghosh directs.

Apart from “Bob Biswas”, Chitrangda’s other upcoming production

right now is “Soorma 2”.


www.theasianindependent.co.uk

TECHNOLOGY

01-03-2020 to 15-03-2020

19

SpaceX prototype spacecraft

blows up during pressure test

San Francisco : A prototype for SpaceX's

Starship super-rocket appeared to burst during

a pressure test on its pad at the companys

South Texas facility. Footage captured by a

Boca Chica resident shows the spaceship,

known as SN1, exploding on Friday night.

In the video, the version of Starship known

as SN1 could be seen during a pressurization

test was placed on the pad before liquid nitrogen

was pumped into its tank to test if its

improved steel structure can withstand cryogenic

fuels. But before it could be completed,

the prototype failed to contain the liquid

nitrogen, sending the cylinder flying off its

stand and crashing to leave behind a mangled

pile of stainless steel, Florida Today reported

recently. The city of Port Isabel, Texas has

also issued an advisory saying there were no

injuries or chemicals were known to have

been released. As per report, Starship SN1 is

a test article for SpaceX's planned Starship

and Super Heavy megarocket, designed to fly

deep-space missions to the moon, Mars and

beyond. Earlier, SpaceX founder and CEO

Elon Musk hinted that many of these prototypes

will be needed to perfect the Starship

vehicle. "We are now building flight design of

Starship SN1, but each SN will have at least

minor improvements, at least through SN20

or so of Starship V1.0," Musk wrote on

Twitter couple of months back.

To recall, in January, SpaceX successfully

launched an emergency abort system test

above Cape Canaveral and into the Atlantic

Ocean. Additionally, NASA has recently

selected SpaceX to provide launch services

for the agency's Psyche mission that would

journey to a unique metal-rich asteroid, also

named Psyche, which orbits the Sun between

Mars and Jupiter. The Psyche mission currently

is targeted to launch in July 2022 on a

Falcon Heavy rocket from Launch Complex

39A at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in

Florida, the US space agency said in a statement

late Friday.

REALME BAND FEATURES

REVEALED AHEAD OF LAUNCH

New Delhi : Chinese smartphone manufacturer

Realme is all set to launch its first

fitness band on March 5 along with alongside

the Realme 6-series smartphones and

now ahead of launch the company has updated

its teaser page of fitness band to reveal

more features ahead of the launch.

According to teaser page, Realme band will

feature a colour screen which will display

notifications for calls, messages and alarms.

The Realme band is listed to come with sleep

tracking and real-time heart-rate monitoring

as well as nine sports modes - biking, running,

walking, hiking, climbing, yoga, fitness,

spinning, and even cricket. The company

says that the cricket mode is especially

made for India. The band will also have IP68

water resistance ceritifcation and come with

a USB-A connector.

The Realme fitness band will take on

Xiaomi's Mi Band series as well as Honor

and Huawei's own fitness trackers.

Additionally, Realme was expected to

unveil its smart TV on February 24 in

Barcelona, Spain but with Mobile World

Congress cancelled we don't have a global

launch date but now in an interview on

YouTube, Realme's Indian CEO Madhav

Sheth revealed the smart TVs will arrive in

India in Q2 2020.

New Delhi : The fight in the India

premium smartphone segment has

intensified and Samsung which enjoys a

tremendous brand loyalty in this price

range in India has now brought in

Galaxy S20 series -- Galaxy S20 Ultra,

the S20+ and the S20 with powerful

cameras -- to the country. According to

the South Korean tech giant, it has completely

reimagined the camera system in

the new Galaxy S20 series to entice

users to upgrade from previous gen

Galaxy phones. We reviewed the

Galaxy S20+ (8GB+128GB storage

variant) launched for Rs 73,999. Here's

how it fared.

The new device is pretty much like

the flagship Galaxy S flagship device --

usual big displays, small bezels and a

glass sandwich design with a metal rail

pressed between two sheets of glass.

Like previous generation Samsung

flagships, the S20+ also has an impressive

screen with ample RAM for

smooth performance. All the new

Galaxy S20 models have a display panel

Popping antioxidants

won't improve

semen quality: Study

New York : If you are taking antioxidant supplements thinking

these would improve the semen quality, thick twice.

According to researchers from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver

National Institute of Child Health and Human Development in the

US, such supplements do not improve male fertility.

The study also found that antioxidant supplements do not improve

pregnancy and live birth rates either.

Antioxidant supplements are commercially available to help treat

male infertility, but research on its effects on semen quality and rates

of pregnancy and live birth are limited.

The new study, published in the journal Fertility and Sterility,

detailed results from the Males, Antioxidants, and Infertility Trial

(MOXI), a double-blind, randomised, placebo-controlled clinical

study conducted at nine sites across the US.

The study enrolled 171 couples where the male partner had at least

one abnormal reading on an analysis evaluating sperm concentration,

mobility, shape and DNA quality. The female partners had normal

fertility test results. Men received a placebo or an antioxidant supplement

containing vitamins C, E and D, selenium, l-carnitine, zinc,

folic acid and lycopene for at least three months and up to six

months. The team found no statistically significant differences in

sperm concentration, mobility, shape and DNA quality between the

placebo and antioxidant groups after three months.

Furthermore, live birth rates did not seem to differ at six months

between the antioxidant (15 per cent) and placebo (24 per cent)

groups. The authors noted that recruitment was stopped before it

reached the desired number of participants because no benefits were

seen in the antioxidant group. "Antioxidant supplements do not help

men with infertility," suggested the study.

Samsung Galaxy S20+: Android flagship to outpace the rest

refresh rate of 120Hz. And that does

make a huge noticeable difference in

user interface (UI) smoothness.

Notably, the 120Hz rate is only accessible

at FullHD resolution.

The Samsung Galaxy S20+ has a

6.7-inch display, which is quite a leap

from its predecessor's 6.4-inch display

size. The Galaxy S20+ misses out on the

108MP camera and 100X zoom feature

that the pricier Ultra has. It, instead, has

a time of flight (ToF) sensor, a 12MP

primary camera, 64MP 3x telephoto

lens, and a 12MP ultra wide camera. We

especially liked the 3x hybrid optical

and 30x digital zoom range.

The S20+ took excellent images in

almost every lighting conditions. The

images lost details in yellow lights

though. The camera has a wider hump,

which makes it look more proportional.

The S20+ can also capture 8K video

like the Ultra which makes sense from a

performance point of view. The selfie

camera brings in a nifty addition that

detects more people outside its default

cropped frame and automatically toggles

into wide mode. The selfies looked

a little over-processed though. Also, the

blur on the portrait mode looks more

artificial than before.

The new 'Single-Take' mode essentially

takes both an image and a video. It

shoots a variety of shots over a 10-second

span -- photos, ultra-wides, portraits,

hyperlapse video, regular video,

and so on. It let us clip 33MP photos

from video, which was really handy.

The Samsung Galaxy S20+ has the

same 4,500mAh battery that the recently

launched S10 Lite also houses.

Battery depletion on S20+ was quick

and strictly lasted a day on a single

charge with heavy to moderate usage.

Samsung is also working on a future

update to improve the camera experience

so be ready for more seamless

experience with your photos.

Conclusion: The new Galaxy S20 series

is Samsung's big bet on a new camera

system with premium internals and

hardware.


20 01-03-2020 to 15-03-2020 NEWS

www.theasianindependent.co.uk

Prakash Ambedkar addressed the

Press on 29 February 2020 at 3.00 pm

at Maharashtra Sadan, New Delhi

We, the members of family of

Babasaheb Ambedkar are concerned

about the hounding of Dr Anand

Teltumbde, who has been part of us since

1983. When in August 2018 the Pune

Police implicated him in the now-infamous

Elgar Parishad case, we were aghast

but sure that the police would realise their

mistake and if it goes to court, the court

would quash the case. Over the last two

years we reared this notion. But recently

when the High Court rejected his petition

and the vehemence with which the Central

government took away the case to

National Investigation Agency (NIA), the

intentions of the state has become clearer

that it wants to incarcerate him in jails for

years. We are living on a tenuous hope

that the Supreme Court where his appeal

would be heard during the four-week protection,

does the justice. We wish to make

it clear that Dr Anand Teltumbde is a part

of Ambedkar family and perhaps therefore

the BJP government has targeted him as the

softest target to touch the family. We also

wish to make it clear that as a candid and

original thinker, his opinions

may not sound stereotypical

but he is

Ambedkarite at the core and

has contributed to define

Babasaheb Ambedkar’s

ideas more than any living

person today.

As the world knows,

coming from a poorest of

the poor family of landless

labourers, he has earned laurels in academic

passing from elite institutions like VNIT,

IIM, Ahmedabad and earned his doctoral

degree in the frontier science of

Cybernetics. He ranks among the best educated

persons in the world.

He has an impeccable and unblemished

corporate career of four decades rising to

the top management positions like

Executive Director of Bharat Petroleum

Prakash Yashwantrao

Ambedkar

Dr Anand Teltumbde

corporation and Managing Director &

CEO of Petronet India Limited, a holding

company that was promoted by the government

in private sector. He was severally

honoured during his professional career for

the outstanding results he produced in each

of the positions he held.

As a socially sensitive person, he always

took cudgel for oppressed humanity and

also earned the name among

the foremost civil rights

activists in the country. He

had been member of the

Maharashtra-based

Committee for Protection of

Democratic Rights (CPDR)

for years and was elected as

its General Secretary since

2016 even when he was outside

Maharashtra. In the

process, he has authored numerous articles

and published over two dozen books, each

of which had been translated in most

Indian languages. For the past two decades

he ranks among the foremost public intellectuals

in the country and one of the noted

scholars across the world. In recognition of

his public intellectualism, the universities

have awarded/nominated him with honorary

doctorates.

After his corporate career, he was invited

by the hallowed Indian Institute of

Technology (IIT), Kharagpur as Professor

of Business Management. He had been

teaching as Guest/ Visiting faculty in his

alma mater, equally hallowed, IIM,

Ahmedabad for years. After IIT, he was

invited by the Goa Institute of

Management to start a novel course, which

he did in 2018 launching India’s first Big

Data Analytics Programme in

Management. It also brought him many

laurels as before.

Such a person has been implicated in the

fabricated case of Elgar Parishad, which he

did not even attend. When he was illegally

arrested by the Police, there was a wave of

protests across the world at unprecedented

scale. The process of Elgar Parishad case

has amply revealed the fabrication of case.

The case that stood on the confiscated digital

devices, which in absence of the hash

values remained wide open to be manipulated

by the police must have been dismissed

at the inception itself.

But under the plea that it would be dealt

with at the time of trial and misusing the

provisions of the draconian law like UAPA

which does not allow anticipatory bail, the

innocent persons are held in jail for years.

It may be noted that unlike other accused in

this infamous case, nothing has been

recovered from him and he stands already

interrogated over two days at the instance

of the High Court. However, the case is

persisted with extreme amoral zeal.

We are extremely concerned for his life,

and the suffering of his family if he is

arrested and incarcerated like others. We

call upon the entire Ambedkarite people to

raise their voice taking it as the attack on

Ambedkar family and the attempt to defile

the legacy of Babasaheb Ambedkar.

Prakash Yashwantrao Ambedkar

Bhimrao Yashwantrao Ambedkar

Anandraj Yashwantrao Ambedkar

Rama Anand Teltumbde

Odisha CM helps BSF

jawan rebuild home

burnt in Delhi violence

Bhubaneswar : Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on

Sunday sanctioned Rs 10

lakh to BSF constable

Mohammad Anees, whose

house was burnt in the violence

in northeast Delhi.

The Chief Minister sanctioned

Rs 10 lakh from the

Chief Minister's Relief

Fund to the constable.

"Naveen Patnaik was

saddened to know that

house of Constable

Mohammad Anees, 9th

Battalion BSF was burnt

down in recent communal

violence in Delhi," said a

statement from the Chief

Minister Office. Patnaik also spoke to the BSF constable and

consoled about the unfortunate incident.

The BSF jawan is working in the 9th Battalion deployed in

the Maoist affected Malkangiri district of the state. The battalion

is responsible for the overall security of Swabhiman Anchal,

which includes the Gurupriya bridge in the Malkangiri district.

Tremors continue in

Himachal on third day

Shimla : Himachal Pradesh was hit by a light intensity quake

on Sunday, the fifth

one on the third consecutive

day, a

weather official said.

An earthquake measuring

3.2 on the

Richter scale was

recorded at 10.13

a.m. on Sunday and

its epicentre was

Shimla region, the

Meteorological

Office told IANS. A day earlier, earthquake of 3.2 on the Richter

scale was recorded at 4.41 p.m. and the region was Chamba. Three

quakes were reported on February 28 in the state. The epicentre of

two quakes was close to the Chamba border adjoining Jammu and

Kashmir. One of them was in the state's Kullu district.

Himalayan towns running dry, say experts

New Delhi : A recent study covering

13 towns across four countries --

India, Bangladesh, Nepal and

Pakistan -- in the Hindu Kush

Himalayan region shows the

Himalayan towns are facing

increased water insecurity in the

wake of inadequate urban planning

coupled with a rapidly changing climate.

The study -- the first-of-its-kind

on the Hindu Kush Himalayan --

shows that the interlinkages of water

availability, water supply systems,

rapid urbanization, and consequent

increase in water demand (both daily

and seasonal) are leading to increasing

water insecurity in towns.

This water insecurity is attributed

to poor water governance, lack of

urban planning, poor tourism management

during peak season, and climate-related

risks and challenges.

The study, published in the journal

'Water Policy', also shows that communities

are coping through shortterm

strategies such as groundwater

extraction, which is proving to be

unsustainable. The authors are Anjal

Prakash and David Molden. While

Prakash is the Research Director and

Adjunct Associate Professor with the

Bharti Institute of Public Policy of the

Indian School of Business in

Hyderabad, Molden is the Director

General with the International Centre

for Integrated Mountain

Development (ICIMOD), an intergovernmental

organization based in

Kathmandu in Nepal.

There is a lack of long-term strategies

for water sustainability in urban

centres, and this requires the special

attention of planners and local governments,

says the study.

Urbanization has pulled people from

rural areas in the Hindu Kush

Himalayan region into nearby urban

centres. Although only three per cent

of the total Hindu Kush Himalayan

population lives in larger cities and

eight per cent in smaller towns, projections

show that more than 50 per

cent of the population will be living

in cities by 2050. This will naturally

place tremendous stress on water

availability. The study shows that the

water demand-supply gap in eight of

the surveyed towns is 20 to 70 per

cent. There is a high dependence on

springs (ranging between 50 and 100

per cent) for water supply in threefourths

of the urban areas. Under current

trends, the demand-supply gap

may double by 2050. A holistic water

management approach that includes

springshed management and planned

adaptation is, therefore, paramount

for securing safe water supply in the

urban Himalaya. Along with springshed

management, other options

could be explored in the wake of rising

water demand and use. From the

case studies of the Himalayan towns,

it is evident that increasing urbanization

and climate change are two critical

stressors that are adversely affecting

the biophysical environment of

the urban Himalaya. With development

plans and policies focusing

more on rural areas, issues surrounding

urban environments have been

sidelined.

Across the region, the encroachment

and degradation of natural water

bodies (springs, ponds, lakes, canals,

and rivers) and the growing disappearance

of traditional water systems

(stone spouts, wells, and local water

tanks) are evident, says the study.

The degradation and reclamation

of water bodies affect wetland

ecosystems and reduce retention

capacities that prevent flooding.

Consequently, urban drainage and

flood management systems are being

impaired.


www.theasianindependent.co.uk

NEWS

01-03-2020 to 15-03-2020

21

Peace and harmony need of the

hour to protect Idea of India

Douse the flames

of hatred and act

impartially to

bring peace and

harmony in Delhi

Deeply disturbing scenes of violence

in East Delhi are floating since yesterday

where over 5 persons have been

killed including one policeman of Delhi

police in the violence. We dont know

whether they were killed in violence or

police firing but according to police,

section 144 has been imposed in about

10 locations of Eastern Delhi like

Mauzpur, Babarpur, Seelampur,

Jafarabad and other adjoining areas.

The burning of cars, of market, and

massive mobilisation of people as well

as stones reflect a well planned strategy

to defame the protests against CAA.

As we know that the protests against

the CAA in Delhi and rest of the country

have been by and large peaceful

with protesters sitting on a Dharana

holding Constitution of India, chanting

slogans for India’s unity and protecting

our constitution and taking inspiration

from the founding fathers of our constitution.

The power of these protests is

that they are being led by women who

are not merely listeners but leaders too

and want to negotiate on their own. The

role of clergy has been diminished and

traditional netas too are sidelined.

Moreover, a new young dynamic leadership

is emerging particularly among

the Muslims.

This is also a fact that most of the

women would not have taken to protest

if there were no distress and feeling of

helplessness. What is the option other

than peaceful protest and engaging with

others. Shaheen Bagh that was eye

opening and a celebration of our peaceful

protests and engagement with fellow

citizens when the state abdicated its

responsibility.

Now many Shaheen Baghs have

emerged in India and people are

redefining protest movement which are

peaceful and effective but then this is

the thing which is hated by the hate

monger on the opposite side.

Government, it seems, is clearly rattled

by these protests though determined not

to acknowledge them. There is no concern,

no seriousness and no attempt to

reach out to the people and clarify

about the CAA-NPR-NRC. Instead, the

favorite Sanjay Gandhi model has been

found the most useful where the ruling

party encourages a militia of goons

chanting Bharat mata kee jai slogan and

actively assisted by the police in intimidating

others.

There is no denying fact that BJP

leader Kapil Mishra’s open threat and

challenge to police that they wont care

any one including

the police if the

roads are not

cleared in next two

three days aggravated

the situation. What was more disturbing

that Kapil Mishra, notorious for

his goondaism, foul mouth has got all

legitimacy from the top leadership of

the BJP and that he can abuse all protesters

in the presence of a senior police

officer shows his ‘power’ and ‘connection’.

It also look that Kapil Mishra is

unable to digest his defeat and undeterred

despite Election Commission’s

chiding him he continue to spew poison

every time he opens his mouth perhaps

knowing fully well as that alone is the

‘biggest’ ‘quality’ to reach at the top of

the party leadership.

No action was taken against Kapil

Mishra till date and now the when we

see the flames of hatred sweeping in the

north Eastern Delhi, where police was

also seen pelting stones, the pattern is

clearly visible. Make the peaceful

protests as ‘clashes’ and convert as if

there are fighting both the side.

Everywhere, there is the same pattern

which make police and

administration to look

Muslims as if they are not

By Vidya Bhushan Rawat

social and human rights activist

Indian citizen. The whole pattern

of reporting and looking this from

that ‘angle’ where police has to ‘stand’

with the ‘deshbhakt goons’.

A theory is being floated that these

disturbances are aimed at embarrassing

India in front of Donald Trump, during

his visit. In this global age, people

know everything as what is happening

and most of the time international

media is reporting in a much better and

detailed way than our propagandist

channels. Secondly, why was Kapil

Mishra allowed to go without arrest

when he threatened dire consequences.

Who is he. He cant be allowed with

these threats. It is here our constitutional

bodies have to act and arrest him.

There is no statement by the prime minister

or home minister while the

Minister of State for home is blaming

Rahul Gandhi for the death of police

constable. Now, these are familiar

tricks to get away from accountability

as what is the MHA doing

in this regard. Rather than

seriously pondering over

the situation and introspecting

what happened and how

to stop this poison, the government

it seems, deliberately

want to prolong it to

polarise the entire nation so

that they can enjoy the fruits of hatred.

A Times of India reporter reported

how for the entire day slogan of Jai Shri

Ram were provocatively being used on

the loudspeakers in the Mauzpur area.

Why has police allowed it ? When people

were being targeted on the basis of

their identity and shops were put on

flames after carefully. Delhi Minorities

Commission, Chairperson Dr Zafarul

Islam Khan wrote in his facebook post

that Muslim localities are being targeted

and that police need to protect people

and arrest armed goons roaming

around and vandalising properties.

Sadly, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind

Kejriwal has not uttered a word except

showing his utter ‘helplessness’. Can a

chief minister who won with massive

mandate keep quiet and not make any

efforts to bring sanity and peace. Is this

entire issue merely a law and order

issue or the time has come for the

Central government to speak to the people

and do it. How long will we allow

this to happen ? Can the government

just get out of it by blaming the opposition

and terming the protests as anti

national and by encouraging the goons

to abuse the opponents of CAA.

When media does not ask questions

to the power, when the police behave

like a militia, when the judges sing

hosannas to the power and when extraconstitutional

authorities dictate us

right and wrong, then, we must assume

that institutions have virtually collapsed

and except for ‘event management’

nothing working. They have kept conspicuous

silence or targeting the opponents

as if they are not the citizens of

the country and have no right to speak.

The Supreme Court is hearing the petition

on Shaheen Bagh Protests but why

protests be looked in isolation and not

linked to the CAA. The delays on part

of courts are aggravating the anxiety of

the people as how long will we all live

in this uncertainty when political executive

think that dissent is seditious and

anti national. Supreme Court has

defined it many times and now judges

are speaking such as Justice D Y

Chandrachood and Justice Deepak

Gupta who have clearly mentioned that

democracy is not majoritarianism and

that dissent is essential for a robust

democracy but then everything is bad if

issues are not decided on time when

people need it. Supreme Court must

take up the issue when Parliament has

not been able to have a meaningful discussion

and Parliamentary debates

these days are not to discuss and reach

to a consensus but mostly ‘laffazi’ to

get clapping from the respective bhakts

and chamchas of netas so we dont

expect much from them at the moment.

Delay in deciding these issues by the

Court is hurting the very foundation of

our secular republic.

We all need to join hand and save the

republic before it is too late to douse the

flames of hatred. Violence must be

stopped and is no justification for anything.

Police too must act impartially

and take strict action against those

spreading hatred and rumors. Our

republican values, democracy and

diversity is under the threat and it is our

national duty to protect our nation

which only possible by peace and communal

harmony among all the citizens.

Pushing one citizen against other and

creating fears in the minds of people

who do not belong to your faith or identity

is no nationalism but an anti national

act. Any one who is trying to divide

India is acting against our national

interest. Let all of us arise and awake so

that no force can divide on the basis of

our religious, caste and ethnic identities

which are personal. We must protect

India and feel proud of it as an Indian

citizen. We appeal to all people to

remain peaceful and isolate those elements

who spread hatred and are violent

as it will bring no solution for any

one whether pro or anti CAA. Let peace

and sanity prevail and we fight our battles

democratically and peacefully till

people get justice.

Vidya Bhushan Rawat is a social

and human rights activist. He blogs

at www.manukhsi.blogspot.com

twitter @freetohumanity

Email: vbrawat@gmail.com


22 01-03-2020 to 15-03-2020 WORLD

www.theasianindependent.co.uk

The grand welcome organized by

Modi for US President Donald Trump

beginning from Gujarat, a home state of

Modi, was expected. Narendra Modi,

Prime Minister of India, is an eventmanager.,

is a well known fact.The

ordinary citizens of India should not cry

over wasting their money on Trump. In

the last few years, Modi has already

wasted a lot of taxpayer money on his

foreign visits. Every scholar in the

country is thinking about Trump`s sudden

and brief visit to India. Every journalist

in the country is pondering over

what India is going to achieve from his

visit. Yes, Indians are good at thinking

and bad at action. Indians imbibed this

slavish mentality from the British colonial

government. So, it is not their fault

at all. Since 2019, the Modi government

is playing more politics than economics.

Every one of us knows that the

Modi government has failed the aspirations

of millions of Indians yet the followers

of Modi are not tired of chanting

eulogies in praise of Modi. Today, they

are partially blind; hopefully they will

not remain so for a long time. Sooner or

later they will accept it when their own

children will suffer.

Trump seems to have twin purpose

of visiting India. First, he is not hundred

percent confident to win Presidential

elections to be held in this year in the

US. Second, he is to sell US defense

equipments to India. It seems that his

visit has served the purpose when he

stated that India would buy defense

equipments worth billions of dollars.

Trump spoke to millions of Gujaratis in

Ahmadabad so it means his Gujarati

American vote is guaranteed. Trump is

a winner; Modi is a loser.

Modi is a loser because Modi has no

Trump is a winner;

Modi is a loser !

political gusts to take up

matter with Trump about

Indian immigrants who are

being suffocated day by day

by US administration. It is

expected by next decade

that the entry to the US of

highly skilled Indians will

be a dream. Trump is

responsible for suffocating

the Indians in the US by

implementing restrictive

immigration policies. Modi

has no economic guts to tell

Trump that no more we can

buy expensive oil from the

US. Modi has no religious

guts to tell Trump on the

face that no Indian will be

discriminated; no Indian

will face racism in the US.

A few days back, Modi

made a statement while

addressing public audience

that he will finish Pakistan

within 7-8 minutes in case

Pakistan dares to attack

India. Modi is insulted publicly by Trump

in Ahmadabad when he said, “Pakistan is

a good friend of US”. Over this statement

Modi was laughing and praising

Trump. Everyday there is a killing of a

Muslim, Dalit and Christian in India.

Everyday Dalits are beaten mercilessly

by the goons of Bajrang Dal. Every day,

Muslims are stigmatized. Modi is

aggressively selling Public State Units

(PSUs). It is going to affect million of

Indians employees. Government jobs are

shrinking day by day. Public universities

are destroyed. Exams are being postponed.

Teachers are sitting on strike.

Students are protesting against fee hike.

Parents are postponing the marriage of

their wards because they are unemployed

and not in a position to support a

family. Older parents are suffering

because their unemployed children are

not in a position to support them in their

old age. Private builders are siphoning

off buyers hard-earned money. The

Judicial system is highly corrupt.

Government agencies such as Delhi

Development Authority (DDA),

Haryana Urban Development Authority

(HUDA), and Greater Noida Authority

(GNA) are struggling with the farmers to

acquire land for development. The nexus

between lawyers and farmers are playing

havoc in the life of plot owners. People

are storing black money in their sweet

homes because they cannot deposit cash

in the bank. Income Tax department has

already sent demand notice to more than

8 lacs people across the country.

However, Indian Finance Minister

Nirmala Sitharaman announced that no

income tax official will torture tax payer

yet sending electronic demand notice to

the tax payer every week. The Higher

and Lower courts in India are overcrowded

with legal cases.

The list of misadventures committed

by the Modi government is a long one.

This is all happening under the thump of

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Hopefully, Trump might have noticed the

volatile political situation prevailing in

India. Hopefully, his Embassy representative

might have updated Trump over

violation of Human Rights in Kashmir. If

informed, will Trump speak to Modi?;

will Modi listen to Trump? Indians who

are suffering must seek answer to these

significant questions.

– Dr. Rahul Kumar

BritMuslim play, Tartuffe,

set to open at Brum REP

A stage comedy, Tartuffe, opens at

Birmingham Repertory Theatre this

month. Originally directed by

Birmingham-born Iqbal Khan for the

Royal Shakespeare Company in 2018,

Tartuffe tells the story of charismatic

chameleon and con man Tahir Taufiq

Arsuf, a religious leader for the 21st century

armed with a Twitter handle and the

gift of the gab. The cast includes Raj Bajaj

and Simon Nagra who both return to the

production having been part of the show

when it opened at the RSC. Iqbal Khan

said: “I’m a Brummie and born into a

Pakistani-Islamic family so the production

has always felt like a very personal journey

to undertake. I can’t wait to see it on

stage at Birmingham REP.” Tartuffe runs

from 20 March – 4 April. For tickets and

more information visit www.birminghamrep.co.uk

or telephone 0121 236 4455.


www.theasianindependent.co.uk

Because of Mahatma Gandhi,

Gujarat has always been in the world

attention. Now it is again popular

because the Prime Minister Narendra

Modi and the Home Minister Amit

Shah they both are from Gujarat.

Sardar Vallab Bhai Patel’s statue is also

drawing worldwide attention to Gujarat

Mr Trump landed in Sardar Vallab Bhai

Airport in Ahemdabad in Gujarat on the

24th February 2020. From here he was

taken to the newly built, the Motera

Stadium. It is claimed to be the biggest

cricket stadium in the world. Mr Trump

did the honour to open it.

He also visited the Gandhi Ashram

and here he paid his respects. He tried

his hand on the spinning wheel to make

cotton thread. Is it the same spinning

wheel that Gandhi Ji used in the

Valmiki Mandir, Delhi?

Ghandhi ji stayed in the Maharishi

Valmiki Mandir in Delhi for nearly nine

months to promote equality between the

lower and the higher castes.

For Trump’s visit a six hundred

meters long wall was built and portraits

of Mr. Trump and Mr. Modi plus other

interesting features were painted on it.

A lot of effort has been put in decorating

of this newly built wall. The purpose

of the wall was to hide the slum

areas visible on departure from the airport.

Some slum areas along the way

were served notices to clear their areas.

This was done to hide the conditions in

Gujarat that many are living in. The

truth was hidden from Mr. Trump.

The people in hundreds cheered him

as he passed. The thousands waited for

him at the stadium and welcomed him

on his arrival. Special performances

were laid in his honour.

Mr. Trump also visited Taj Mahal in

Agra. The Taj Mahal is on the bank of

river Jamuna and to make it presentable

for him, the water from river Ganges

was diverted into it. The state of river

Jamuna near the Taj Mahal has been an

issue for a very long time.

But the authorities have failed to

give any attention but Mr Trump’s visit

has done the unthinkable. No one ever

thought that the River Ganges water

WORLD

TRUMPS RECEPTION IN GUJRAT

will be fed into the river Jamuna, but it

has. Mr Trump’s visit will be recorded

and remembered as a Historical event

of the year 2020.

Mr Trump is the third President of

America to visit the Taj Mahal. Prince

Charles and late Lady Dianna, plus

quite a few more Government representatives

have visited it. On their visits,

the state of river Jamuna did not matter

but on Mr Trump’s visit has become an

issue. May be Mr Modi’s closeness

with Mr Trump is behind this.

Whatever the reason may be, it is a

blessing for the river Jumna that Mr

Trump’s visit has brought it to the

Indian Government’s attention. May be

the authorities will now pursue it’s

cleanness because dignitaries from all

over the world keep visiting the Taj

Mahal. Mr. Modi chose Gujarat as the

starting point for Mr Trump’s visit but

internally a lot of hatred through caste

is present. Latest incident is that a

Jawan meaning an Indian Army soldier,

who belonged to a Dalit family returned

to Gujarat for his marriage. He is serving

in the force that protects the Indian

borders. It is customary for the groom

to ride on a horse when going for the

marriage. The family arranged this and

they also arranged for the police escort.

A very small number of the police was

accompanying the procession. All was

going fine. But when they reached the

higher caste area they came under stone

attack from the waiting higher caste

crowd. They were shouting that the

Dalits are not supposed to ride on a

horse because it is an insult to the higher

caste people. Some members of the

wedding group received serious injuries

and had to receive hospital treatment.

The mob over powered the police and

the groom was forced to dismount and

his ceremonial sword was snatched

away from him.

Extra police was ordered on the

scene and the procession went ahead.

This soldier, who proudly serves mother

India, had never expected that this

would happen to him on his wedding

day. He may have come under stone

attacks whilst on duty but to come

under stone attack from his own people

and in his own village must be a very

disturbing experience for him.

Gandhi Ji, Dr Bhim Rao Ambedkar

Ji, plus many saints like Guru Ravi

Dass ji, Guru Nanak Dev Ji, Guru

Govind Singh Ji, Sant Gyaneshwar Ji

and many more have fought to bring

equality amongst the people in India. It

seems the RSS minded Hindutavi higher

caste are so deeply glued to being

superior then all through the caste difference,

they do not want to let it go.

It is only a very small number of the

Hindu organisations and Hindu Dharma

Gurus who are instigating the caste

hatred in India. The Hindu followers

who have RSS mind set are the ones

causing the problems for everyone else

India. Not all the Hindus are behind this

new Hindu-Rashtra movement and this

is why we see a large number of them

standing with the protestors opposing

CAA, NPR and NRC.

The CAA, NRP and NRC in long run

are not going to defuse but will infuse

hatred in India. The people are protesting

because they can see a very bleak

future for them under the Manu-vadi

Hindu dominance. So there are protests

all over in India to stop the Hindutav’s

spreading. The CAA is the first step

and NPR and NCR will follow. There

01-03-2020 to 15-03-2020

23

are cases coming to light of the people

falling prey to NCR. They have been

asked to show proof to their residency

in India. Their adhaar cards, their Bank

proofs and any other form of identity

they have are worthless. They have

been asked to produce ancestral record

that shows their entitlement to citizenship

in India. They are so confused that

they do not know what papers are needed

and where to get them. People will

be randomly picked mainly from the

lower caste and the Muslim communities.

The ones who cannot produce may

end in the detention centres being built

all around India. Historically the inhabitants

of India have been victimised

since Aryan arrival and now are going

to be preyed upon through CAA, NRP

and NRC. Mr. Modi and Mr. Shah both

come from Gujarat and here hatred

against the Muslims and the lower

castes is present but it seems they are

not bothered about it. How can one

expect justice from Mr Modi and Mr

Shah when it is present, where their

own families are living.

The people have come to learn from

Mr. Trump’s visit that the BJP is very

good in covering up situations. So it

does fuel the doubts on the Fulvama

incident. The car with explosives waited

for nearly an hour, how come it wasn’t

picked by the Security Police? How

come the majority of the soldiers who

lost their lives in the incident were of

Dalit and lower caste origin?

How come the families of the

deceased are still waiting for explanation?

The world is waiting to know

who was behind this disaster that

claimed forty lives.

The people who are in the favour of

CAA – NPR – NCR should watch

episodes being shown Ek Mahanayak

DR. Bhim Rao Ambedkar on the TV. It

shows of the brutality of the Higher

castes towards the lower castes.

The millions of people in India have

faith in Dr. Bhim Rao Ambedkar’s

Constitution and honour him as the

SON OF MOTHER INDIA.

JAI BHARAT.

Mitej Teji

Peshawar mosque

opens doors for

women after 25 yrs

Meerut

Peshawar : Women in Peshawar will be able

to offer Friday prayers in congregation after a

25-year hiatus as the law and order situation in

the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province has improved

significantly following the

launch of successful military

operations, a media

report said.

Until the mid 1990s,

women would offer

Friday prayers in congregation

at Sunehri Masjid

(Golden Mosque) situated

in the Peshawar cantonment

but the practice was

abandoned after terrorism

badly hit the provincial

capital, The Express Tribune said in the report on

Saturday. Dozens of terrorist attacks took place

near the mosque which led to its closure for

women almost 25 years ago. In 2016, 16 people

were killed and dozens wounded when a powerful

bomb went off as the bus carrying mostly

government employees cruised past the mosque

in the crowded marketplace of Saddar. Now, with

a substantial improvement in the security situation,

the authorities have

decided to resume the

practice and arrangements

for women's congregation

prayers have

been finalised. The

authorities have also put

up a banner outside the

mosque carrying message

"that women are now

welcomed to offer Friday

prayer at Sunheri

Masjid".

The move is being praised as a step to discourage

the patriarchal nature of spaces like

mosques and 'hujras' (a room where guests are

entertained in Pashtun areas of Pakistan) from

where women are excluded.

9 swine flu deaths in UP

17 PAC jawans test positive

: After the coronavirus

scare it is now swine flu

that is raging on in Uttar

Pradesh. The death toll in the

state has reached nine, six of

which are from Meerut alone,

and 17 Provincial Armed

Constabulary (PAC) jawans

have tested positive for swine

flu in the district in the past 48

hours. Meerut Chief Medical

Officer Raj Kumar said, "Out of

the 27 PAC jawans of the Sixth

Battalion admitted to the Lala

Lajpat Rai Memorial Medical

College (LLRMMC) with complaints

of fever, cold and other

similar symptoms, 17 have tested

positive for swine flu. Hence,

around 370 jawans in the battalion

were given Tamiflu tablets

and instructed to remain on the

campus to prevent further spread

of the infection. With this, the

total number of swine flu cases

in the district has gone up to 71."

The official said, "We have

added 40 more beds in the isolation

ward of the LLRMMC

taking the total number to 56."

The district hospital and other

private hospitals have also been

asked to increase the number of

beds in the isolation wards.

In the wake of the rising

number of swine flu cases, doctors

have advised that only one

member of the family should be

involved in taking care of the

infected patient to avoid spread

of the disease. People have

been asked to wash hands frequently,

wear a mask when in

the vicinity of the patient and

take care of cleanliness in the

patient's room.


24 01-03-2020 to 15-03-2020 WORLD

www.theasianindependent.co.uk

Shah reaches Kolkata

amid BLACK FLAG

protest by Left, Cong

Kolkata : Amid protests and black flag

demonstrations by Left parties and the

Congress, Union Home Minister Amit

Shah arrived here on a day-long visit on

Sunday. He will address a BJP rally at the

Sahid Minar Maidan and also inaugurate

the Special Composite Group Complex of

New Delhi : The Delhi

Police on Sunday imposed prohibitory

orders in Shaheen

Bagh area in southeast Delhi

and deployed a large number of

security personnel in the area.

A senior police officer said

these were precautionary measures.

Shaheen Bagh has been

the epicentre of anti-

Citizenship (Amendment) Act

protest, wherein women and

men have organised a sit-in on

a road since December 15 last

year. Police said that Section

144 of the Criminal Procedure

Code was imposed in Shaheen

Bagh area near Jamia Millia

Islamia. Section 144 empowers

an executive magistrate to issue

orders in case nuisance or danger

to public peace is apprehended.

Though its scope is

wider, the Section is often used

to prohibit assembly of five or

more persons when unrest is

anticipated.

The heavy police deployment

comes in the wake of a

call by a right-wing group,

Hindu Sena, to clear the

Shaheen Bagh road on March

1. The Sena has since called off

its proposed protest against the

anti-CAA agitation in Shaheen

Bagh after police intervened on

Saturday.

Joint Commissioner of

Police Devesh Chandra

National Security Guard (NSG).

Carrying placards and posters reading

"Amit Shah go back", Left activists staged

a black flag demonstration outside gate

number one of the Netaji Subhas Chandra

Bose International Airport soon after the

BJP leader's flight landed. As Shah was

Prohibitory orders in Delhi's Shaheen

Bagh, posse of police deployed

Srivastava said that police

deployment and prohibitory

restrictions were precautionary

measures. "Heavy police

deployment in Shaheen Bagh is

a precautionary measure. Our

aim is to maintain law and

order and prevent any untoward

incident," Srivastava said.

The Delhi Police move comes

in the backdrop of violence in

northeast Delhi that resulted

into the death of 41 persons and

injuries to over 200 others.

Hundreds of men and

women, some in 'burqas' and

many accompanied by children,

have occupied a nearly

one km stretch of a six-lane

highway passing through

Shaheen Bagh to connect Delhi

and neighbouring Noida in

Uttar Pradesh to protest against

the new citizenship law and a

proposed citizens' register that

have brought hundreds of thousands

of people onto the streets

across India.

Violent demonstrations have

rocked the country since

December 12 after Prime

Minister Narendra Modi's government

enacted the

Citizenship (Amendment) Act

(CAA), which aims to grant citizenship

to six-non-Muslim

minorities -- Hindu, Sikh,

Parsi, Jain, Christian and

Buddhist -- who migrated to

India on or before December

31, 2014 from Bangladesh,

Pakistan and Afghanistan.

welcomed by senior BJP leaders including

Mukul Roy and Babul Supriyo, the CPI-Mled

Left party cadres held noisy protests at

the intersection of Jessore Road and VIP

Road close to the airport. A number of

other protest rallies and gatherings are

being held in various parts of the city. A

large number of slogan shouting Left

activists carrying black flags also assembled

close to Park Circus, where a group of

women have been holding a sit-in protest

since January 7. Led by Left Front legislature

party leader and CPI-M lawmaker

Sujon Chakraborty, another rally was taken

out in the Santoshpur area of south

Kolkata. "It is a shame for us that Amit

Shah, whose hands are soaked with blood

in the Delhi violence, dares to come to

Kolkata soon after the riots there. Chief

Minister Mamata Banerjee may have rolled

the red carpet for him, but the youths, students,

Left workers and democracy-loving

people will show him black flags,' said

Chakraborty. A Left leader said the protests

are being held at nine-points in the city.

The Congress and its mass arms -

Chhattra Parishad, Mahila Congress and

Yuva Congress - have also organised

protest demonstrations.

2 cargo trains

collide in MP, several

feared trapped

Singrauli (Madhya Pradesh) : Several railway staff are

feared trapped after two freight trains collided in Madhya

Pradesh's

Singrauli district

on

Sunday.

The railway

officials

and police

have reached

the spot and a

rescue operation

was

underway.

The freight

trains of the

NTPC plant

are reported to

have collided

head on due to

which the

coaches of

both the trains

were badly

damaged.

According

to information

received from

the police control room, the two trains collided head on in the

Baidhan police station area. One of the freight train was loaded

with coal, while the other coming from the other side was empty.

The staff of both the trains are feared to be trapped as relief

and rescue work was in progress.

Sources say that there is a single rail line to carry coal to the

NTPC plant. And, only one train can ply at a time. However, on

Sunday, two trains were moved to the same track which caused

the head on collision.

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