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Vol : 06 : #99 01-09-2022 to 15-08-2022

UK's Royal Mail workers

stage 2nd strike in pay row

London : Workers of the UK's

Royal Mail on Wednesday walked out

on a strike again in a bitter dispute

over pay, with further industrial action

planned.

Members of the Communication

Workers Union mounted picket lines

outside Royal Mail offices across the

country, reports dpa news agency.

The Union said more than 100,000

workers are involved, making it the

biggest strike of the summer.

The action follows a walkout last

week and there will be further stoppages

on September 8-9.

The action is in protest at a 2 per

cent pay rise, although the company

has said more money is on offer.

CWU general secretary Dave Ward

said: "There can be no doubt that

postal workers are completely united

in their determination to secure the

dignified, proper pay rise they

deserve.

"We can't keep on

living in a country

where bosses rake in

billions in profit

while their employees

are forced to use

food banks.

"Postal workers

won't meekly accept

their living standards

being hammered

by greedy

business leaders

who are completely out of touch with

modern Britain.

"They are sick of corporate failure

getting rewarded again and again."

CWU deputy general secretary

Terry Pullinger said: "Our members

worked miracles during the pandemic

and know full well what they are

worth. "They are fighting for a nostrings,

real-terms pay rise - something

they are fully entitled to.

"Those managing Royal Mail

Group are treating our members with

contempt by imposing such a minimal

amount."

A Royal Mail spokesman said:

"The CWU's self-centred actions with

the wider trade union movement is

putting jobs at risk, and making pay

rises less affordable."

Nagaland CM once again demands early

settlement of Naga political issues

Kohima : Nagaland Chief

Minister Neiphiu Rio,

demanding an early settlement

of Naga political issues, said

that his state government

would not obstruct but would

pave the way in Naga wisdom

and resign for the interim government.

Inaugurating the Lotha

Hoho (Lotha Tribal Council)

building at Wokha district

town late on Tuesday evening,

he said that the present allparty

United Democratic

Alliance (UDA) government

is sincere and committed to

resolve the Naga issue.

"The settlement (of Naga

political issue) should come at

the earliest and if so happen,

we would not obstruct but

would pave the way in Naga

wisdom and tribal wisdom and

resign for the interim government

and think in terms of

how Nagas should live as a

united family and progress

with the help of God," Rio

said.

He said that on the Naga

political issue the negotiating

parties have already signed the

framework agreement and the

agreed position which means

they have signed to be with the

Indian Union, but to recognise

the unique history of the

Nagas and to co-exist with a

new relationship of the two

entities which was done in the

spirit of framework agreement.

Stating that Nagaland is a

special status state, Rio said

the special status given to the

state involves decision according

to state's Customary Law.

"We have a recognised tradition

and customary law and

the guardians of the customary

law and traditions of the Nagas

and the community is the apex

body of the tribal hohos and

the Village Council institutional

Chairman is the ultimate

authority."

He urged the guardians of

customary law and traditions

to know the true meaning of

the institution and work

accordingly for the welfare of

the Naga community. Noting

that Wokha district in western

Nagaland is so fertile and

blessed with natural resources,

the Chief Minister urged the

Lotha community to work

hard for a progressive society.

He also called upon the

people to think positively and

know how to exist in peace

and harmony with one another

for a progressive Naga society.

Rio also stated that there

are about 15 schemes directly

benefiting the farmers and

appealed to the District

Administration and concerned

departments for monitoring of

the schemes and policies so

that schemes are properly

implemented and to ensure

that both Central and state

schemes and policies reach the

targeted people.

Statewide protest call over

police inaction against

rape accused K'taka seer

Bengaluru : Dalit and

student organizations and

others have given a

statewide protest call against

the ruling BJP and the

Karnataka police on

September 2, condemning

the inaction against rape

accused Lingayat seer

Murugha Shivamurthy

Sharanaru of Murugha mutt

in Chitradurga of Karnataka.

Posters have been

released by various groups

on social media calling for

the immediate arrest of

Murugha who is facing a sexual assault case by

minor girls. The protesters will gather near the

Freedom Park in Bengaluru at 10.30 a.m.

The posters announced that the protest will be

backed by women's organizations, labour unions,

farmer and daily wage workers' unions, minority

institutions, NGOs, advocates associations and

sexual minority groups.

The rape accused seer is holding a meeting

with close aides including 4th accused

Paramashivaiah at the mutt on Wednesday. The

District and Sessions court is taking up the bail

petition of the accused seer on Thursday.

Sources in the mutt said that the meeting will

decide on the future course of action in case the

court rejects the bail plea of

the accused seer.

The officials of the Child

Welfare Committee have

shifted most of the girl students

from the Murugha mutt

hostel following the development.

Former Chief Minister H

D Kumaraswamy stated on

Wednesday that it is wrong to

accuse politicians of being

silent on the POCSO case

against the seer. "There is no

chance that we chose to

ignore the incident. The concerned

authorities should be deciding on this and

initiating action. Politics should not be mixed

with this incident and care should be taken not to

hurt religious feelings at the same time," he

added.

Posts slamming the political parties and

prominent leaders over the issue have also gone

viral. "Do not sympathize with rape accused seer.

Siddaramaiah who claims himself as a socialist

and progressive should have raised his voice for

poor victim girls who are minors belonging to

oppressed classes."

The posts also chided former CM B S

Yediyurappa, saying that morals should prevail

over caste.


2

01-09-2022 to 15-08-2022 NEWS

www.theasianindependent.co.uk

Is CBI acquiring reputation

of being a drain inspector?

New Delhi : The CBI is acquiring

the reputation of being a drain inspector.

Nailing small fry has become the

norm. From being India's premier anticorruption

agency, it has been relegated

to a poor cousin with the emergence

of the Enforcement Directorate

armed to the teeth with PMLA.

Moreover, as the case travels up the

food chain, it gets weaker due to poor

quality of investigation and weak evidence

which does not add up before

the higher courts. The data released by

the Central Vigilance Commission

(CVC) show that in 2021, the Central

Bureau of Investigation (CBI) recorded

2.27 per cent lower conviction rate

as compared to 2020.

In 2021, the CBI achieved conviction

in 67.56 per cent of the cases

whereas in 2020 the conviction rate

stood at 69.83 per cent.

These figures mostly refer to convictions

in the trial courts, as the numbers

come down as cases move to the

upper courts. In most cases, the CBI

gets defeated in the upper courts due

to lapses in investigation and lack of

evidence. Senior advocate Geetha

Luthra said that this could be because

most such cases are political in nature

and come from different states.

"Unless there is watertight evidence,

the accused gets acquitted,"

Luthra said. Apart from this, at times

the central probe agency also fails to

furnish chargesheets on time due to

lack of man power and work overload.

Last year, the CBI had told the

Supreme Court that it is working hard

to increase the conviction rate to 75

per cent. In 2020, its conviction rate

was 69.83 per cent, which was higher

than 2021 (67.56 per cent).

CBI Director S.K. Jaiswal, in an

affidavit furnished before the apex

court in 2021, had stated that by

August 2022, the agency would take

the conviction rate to 75 per cent.

The CVC data show that last year,

the agency lodged 680 cases and initiated

preliminary inquiry in 67 cases,

while these figures stood at 589 cases

and 87 preliminary inquiries in 2020.

In 2021, around 10,232 cases were

pending before various courts, including

275 cases under the Prevention of

Corruption Act, which were pending

before the courts for more than 20

years. In 2021, the CBI proved its case

Odisha Police destroy one

tonne of seized ganja

before the courts on 202 occasions,

while 82 persons were acquitted, 15

persons were discharged due to lack of

evidence against them, while 61 cases

were disposed of for other reasons.

There were other issues with the

federal probe agency as in many cases

it have failed to furnish the

chargesheet on time. "The CBI is normally

required to complete investigation

in a registered case within one

year. Completion of investigation

would imply filing of chargesheet

wherever warranted after receiving

sanction from the competent authority.

The Commission has observed that

there have been some delays in completing

the investigation in certain

cases," the CVC mentioned in its

report. However, the report said that it

may have happened due to Covid-19,

lack of manpower, work overload and

delay in obtaining responses to Letters

Rogatory (LR), a formal request from

a court to a foreign court for some type

of judicial assistance. Also, there are

around 55 cases which were lodged

against the senior officials of the CBI.

However, the investigation into these

cases have been very slow. Twentyseven

cases out of the 55 are pending

for more than four years before the

agency.

There are 20 other cases lodged

against low-rank officials of the CBI,

which are also pending, including nine

cases pending for more than four

years. This shows that when it comes

to taking action against its own officials,

the CBI goes slow.

High-profile cases where CBI

failed

Sushant Singh Rajput case: The

CBI has failed to complete its investigation

into the death of Sushant Singh

Rajput, who passed away in June 2020

under mysterious circumstances. His

body was found hanging from the ceiling

fan of his rented accommodation

in Mumbai. The CBI had recreated the

crime scene but the investigation is

still pending.

Arushi Talwar case: Arushi

Talwar and domestic help Hemraj

Banjade were murdered during the

intervening night of May 15 and 16 in

2008. The case was handed over to the

CBI in 2009. The Allahabad High

Court acquitted the accused saying the

evidence was not beyond reasonable

doubt.

2G Case: The CBI had failed to

prove its case in the alleged 2G spectrum

scam that cost the exchequer Rs

176,000 crore. Special Judge O.P.

Saini, who oversaw the trial of all 2G

spectrum cases since early 2011, had

said in 2017 that his seven-year anticipation

for evidence ended "all in

vain" because the case was mainly

based on "rumour, gossip and speculation".

Gunfight breaks out

at J&K's Sopore

Bhubaneswar : Odisha Police have destroyed nearly

one tonne of contraband ganja,

Team AI :

Devinder Chander

Editor-in-chief

Columnists

V.B. Rawat

Farzana Suri

Arun Kumar

Rahul Kumar

Head Office

Samaj Media Enterprise Ltd.

46 Summer Road

Erdington, Birmingham UK

B23 6UR

+44 7878 456 484

+44 121 565 4810

Email :

info@theasianindependent.co.uk

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The Asian Independent is an

Intellectual Property of

Samaj Media Enterprise Ltd

which were seized from the

exclusive possession of

accused persons, police officials

said here on Wednesday.

"Following due procedure

laid down by Orissa High Court

and on the decision of drug disposal

committee led by SP,

Special Task Force (STF),

Bhubaneswar, the drugs were

destroyed at a designated incinerator

in the presence of scientific

officers of state forensic

science laboratory and members

of State Pollution Board,"

the officials from STF said.

The STF had seized the

ganja in August, 2021 and registered

a case against the

accused persons under NDPS

Act, 1985.

The seized drugs were first

certificated by a concerned

court and handed over to the

drug disposal committee for

destruction. This is the first

ever pre-trial disposal case,

they said. In the recent years,

during a drive against narcotics,

especially ganja and

brown sugar by Odisha police,

there has been huge piling up of

seized narcotic drugs.

As the trial of narcotics

cases takes time, these seized

drugs remain stocked at police

stations or court Malkhanas

exposed to all kinds of vulnerabilities.

The piling up of seized

drugs has been a cause of concern

and Supreme Court in the

case of Mohanlal Vs. Union of

India passed a detailed order on

disposal of the seized drugs,

especially emphasising on pretrial

disposal of seized drugs.

However, because of some

procedural and technical ambiguity,

seized drugs could not be

disposed of. In this backdrop,

the STF had approached the

High Court of Orissa with a

prayer for a certain direction to

resolve the issues, informed the

officials.

Finally, on January 31, 2022,

the High Court passed a landmark

judgment directing the

subordinate courts to dispose of

the applications filed under

NDPS Act, 1985 issuing a

detailed SOP in this regard.

Following the SOP, the seized

ganjas were destroyed, they

added.

Srinagar : An encounter started between terrorists and security

forces at Sopore in Jammu and Kashmir's Baramulla district

on Wednesday, police said.

"Encounter has started at Bomai area of Sopore. Security

forces are on the job," police said.

The firefight started after a joint team of security forces got

an input about the presence of terrorists in that area. As they cordoned

it off, the hiding terrorists started firing, drawing retaliation

by the security forces.

On Tuesday three LeT terrorists were killed in an encounter

at Nagbal area in Shopian district.

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ASIA

01-09-2022 to 15-08-2022

3

Indian American charged

with hate crime against

another Indian American

Washington : An Indian-descent

man has been charged with hate crime

against another Indian-descent man in

perhaps the first of its kind case.

California prosecutors have

charged Tejinder Singh, 37 with hate

crime in violation of civil rights,

assault and disturbing the peace by

using offensive language. He is not in

custody but on probation and a courtdate

is awaited.

Indians and Indian-descent

Americans have been targeted for

hateful comments and remarks and

even violence. Srinivas Kuchibhotla, a

computer engineer, was killed in

Kansas in 2017 by a man who said he

had mistaken him for someone from

the Middle East. Balbir Singh Sodhi

was the first person killed in the backlash

against the September 11, 2001

terrorist attacks. He was once again

mistaken for someone from the

Middle East. Sikhs find themselves

targeted frequently.

But the Monday incident in

California is perhaps the first instance

of an Indian-descent American being

accused of committing a hate crime

against another India-descent person.

Singh picked on the victim's religion,

his country of birth and his people.

In a video recording of the incident,

Singh is seen unloading himself on

another customer, who has self-identified

himself as Krishnan Jayaraman at

a Taco Bell restaurant in California on

Monday.

Singh repeatedly called him "dirty

ass Hindu", "ugly ass Hindu" and frequently

used the N-word. He switched

to Punjabi to abuse Indira Gandhi, the

Indian Prime Minister who was assassinated

by her Sikh bodyguards.

He mocked Jayaraman's order of

"bean burritos", which are vegetarian,

and the way he looked, and repeatedly

pointed to his "open toes", calling him

"disgusting".

"Maybe wear some socks. Nobody

wants to see your ugly a** feet. You're

disgusting. You people are f***ing

ugly. You're disgusting and nasty.

You're disgusting, dog, seriously," he

said.

Singh went on to tell Jayaraman

that it were "you people" who were the

"first to kneel" before the East India

Company, the English trading company

that led to the colonisation of India

by the British for more than 200 years.

The man went on to disparage

Jayaraman as one of those who came

to the US on H-1B visa, a short-term

non-immigrant work visa that is

issued for American companies to hire

foreign workers to make up for shortage

of local hands in high specialty

fields. The programme has been held

responsible by its critics for layoffs

and the backlash has been felt by

Indians working here and Indian

Americans at large.

"The part that sucked was that the

abuser spit on the counter where food

was being served and despite pointing

that out, the Taco Bell employees continued

serving the food on it,"

Jayaraman wrote in a post on twitter,

in which he also thanked Fremont

police for responding.

The Fremont incident came close

on the heels of another incident in

which Indians or Indian Americans

were targets of hateful and abusive

language.

"Go back to India, we don't want

you here," a woman, who identified

herself as Mexican-American told a

group of Indian Americans in Plano,

Texas last Saturday.

She was arrested later. "This incident

is a hate crime in accordance with

Texas laws," the Plano police said in a

statement. "This incident may also be

a hate crime based on federal law, and

we are working closely with the FBI

and the Department of Justice Civil

Rights Division on this case."

Laos expects to attract 900,000

foreign visitors in 2022

Vientiane : The Laos government plans to attract 900,000

foreign visitors in 2022, which is expected to generate more than

$218 million, according to the latest report from the Tourism

Development Department.

The outlook for the tourism industry is positive following the

reopening of the country to international tourists since May 9,

Xinhua news agency reported on Wednesday citing the

Department as saying.

The number of tourist arrivals has increased significantly in

recent months, giving a boost to the supply of foreign currency,

which is urgently needed to buy imported goods.

The scenic Vang Vieng, the Luang Prabang World Heritage

Site and the low value of the kip are among the main attractions

for visitors from neighbouring countries.

Taj Mahal's name change game

falls flat in corporation session

Agra : Another attempt to force change

the name of the Taj Mahal to "Tejo Mahal"

fell flat, after noisy scenes and frayed tempers

in a special session of the Agra

Municipal Corporation on Wednesday.

A corporator had moved a resolution

demanding the name change, on the basis

of claimed "historical evidence" that the

Taj Mahal was originally a Hindu temple.

But due to the din, and groups of corporators

shouting slogans, the matter could

not be taken up. Mayor Navin Jain

adjourned the house indefinitely, after failing

to bring the session to order.

While the Hindutva group was adamant

to move the resolution, the BSP and

Congress corporators opposed the initiative,

claiming that the High Court and the

Supreme Court, had already dismissed the

plea.

Outside the house, various Hindutva

groups continued to shout slogans, as corporation

officials tried hard to pacify the

agitated members of the house.

Senior BJP corporator Anurag

Chaturvedi told IANS that the initiative

was legally flawed and could not be pursued.

The property belongs to the ASI,

therefore only the Union government could

take a decision.

The term of the Agra Municipal

Corporation ends in November. Ahead of

the elections, the parties are trying to raise

the pitch. Meanwhile, the Agra tourism

industry has suggested to maintain the status

quo. A new tourist season begins from

September 27. "Therefore, efforts should

be made to maintain peace and harmony,"

a tourism stakeholder said.


4

01-09-2022 to 15-08-2022 ASIA

www.theasianindependent.co.uk

Nepal announces visit

of Indian Army chief

Kathmandu : India's Chief of Army

Staff (COAS), General Manoj Pande will

arrive in Kathmandu on September 4 on a

four-day visit to the Himalayan nation, the

Nepali Army said in a statement on

Wednesday.

Accompanied by a five-member delegation,

General Pande's visit comes on an

invitation by his Nepal counterpart General

Parbhu Ram Sharma.

The main events in the Indian Army

chief's itinerary include paying homage at

the martyr's memorial in the Army

Pavilion, receive a guard of honor at the

Army Headquarters, hold a meeting with

General Sharma, hand over various nonlethal

military items to the Nepali Army,

interaction with student officers at Army

Command and Staff College, Shivapuri,

and a visit to the Mid-Command

Headquarters in Pokhara, the statement

said. As Nepal and India are celebrating the

establishment of 75th years of diplomatic

ties, General Pande will announce a huge

military assistance to Kathmandu, sources

said.

The main highlight of the visit will be

the conferment of the rank of an Honorary

General of the Nepali Army to General

Pande by President Bidhya Devi Bhandari

on September 5.

Nepal and India have a long standing

tradition of conferment of the rank of the

honorary title to both armies since 1950.

General Pande is also scheduled to meet

Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba, who

also holds the defence portfolio.

This is his first visit to Nepal after

assuming office on April 30 after the retirement

of his predecessor Manoj Mukund

Naravane.

Nepal's General Sharma was given the

honorary title of Chief of the Indian Army

by the former President Ram Nath Kovind

in November last year.

Fake call centre busted

in Gurugram, six held

Gurugram : Cyber crime

team of the Gurugram police

busted an illegal call centre

operating at Sector-42 in

Gurugram. The call centre

mostly used to cheat the US

and Canadian nationals on the

pretext of technical support, the

police said on Wednesday.

According to the police, a

team of the cyber crime police

station led by ACP (DLF)

Priyanshu Diwan, raided the

call centre which was located at

P-120, Sector-46 in Gurugram

following a tip-off. During the

raid, the police arrested six

accused including the manager

in connection with the matter

and seized seven desktops and

one modem along with other

electronic gadgets. The arrested

accused have been identified as

Vikas Bhadana, Paras Sood,

Thachang Tungshanao,

Avinash, Ram Basua and

Abhislash Singh, the call centre

manager. While the call centre

and house owner has been identified

as Sachin Taneja.

"We received specific inputs

that a fake call centre had

cheated the several US and

Canadian nationals on the pretext

of technical support. The

youth were employed at the call

centre, which was being operated

without a licence issued by

the Department of

Telecommunications (DOT),"

said Priyanshu Diwan, ACP

(DLF). "During the questioning,

the accused revealed that

they used to communicate with

US and Canadian citizens to

provide technical support such

as Norton Antivirus, McAfee,

Webroot, Window Support

with the help of Dialler/X-Lite

Application and used to charge

200/500 dollars via E-Gift

redeemed card. The arrested

accused used to work in the

same call centres a year back

and were getting Rs 40,000-

45,000 salary plus insensitive

from Sachin," he added.

"The matter is under investigation.

How the accused was

operating the fake call centre

it's a part of an investigation.

The involvement of other people

cannot be ruled out. The

culprits are on police remand

for further questioning," the

officer said. An FIR under relevant

sections of the Indian

Penal Code (IPC) and the IT

Act has been registered at the

Cyber crime police station.

Body of missing man found on Swiss glacier after over 30 yrs

Berlin/Bern : The body of a

man from Germany who has

been missing since 1990 has

been found on a glacier near

Zermatt in Switzerland, police

said. Mountaineers discovered

the mortal remains and equipment

of the man from Baden-

Wurttemberg state on the

Stockji glacier at the end of July,

dpa news reported citing the

police as saying on Tuesday.

According to officials, a

DNA comparison showed that it

was undoubtedly the missing

person from the German town

of Nurtingen.

He was 27 years old when he

went missing.

In August 1990, the deceased

was on a multi-day mountain

tour in the Valais Alps from

Chamonix, France, to

Domodossola, Italy.

When he did not arrive at his

destination, rescue efforts were

initiated, but the 27-year-old

was not found.

German police assume that

he died in an accident.

According to Swiss police,

the fact that the man has now

been found is related to retreating

glaciers.

Amidst retreating ice, the

mortal remains of people have

come to light, some of whom

had been missing for decades.

United Sikhs rushes

relief supplies for

Pakistan flood victims

New Delhi : UN-affiliated

NGO United Sikhs

has rushed relief supplies

for flood victims in

Pakistan's Charsadda district

where thousands of

people and the livestock

were badly hit, besides

unprecedented damage to

the property.

Local Sikh volunteers

of United Sikhs have setup

a camp to move floodaffected

families to safe

areas and provide them

with food, water, and other

immediate supplies under

the leadership of the

organisation's representative

in Pakistan, Herdyal

Singh.

So far the floods have injured 1,634, damaging nearly 10,000

homes, 149 bridges, 170 shops, and 3,451 km of road stretch as

per the latest report of National Disaster Management Authority.

Ravi Kumar, a member of the Provincial Assembly Khyber

Pakhtunkhwa, visited Nowshera and met local families and appreciating

the efforts of United Sikhs to support the relief efforts.

Another United Sikhs volunteer, Sagarjeet Singh, who is a

member of Pakistan Sikh Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee, said

incessant floods collapsed the roof of Gurdwara at Shikarpur

Singh, killing people and destroying the entire building.

The saroop, also called Bir in Punjabi, of the Guru Granth

Sahib was retrieved safely and moved to the nearby home of a

Gursikh family, he said.

The United Sikhs has issued a global appeal for relief and medical

supplies for the medical camps it is arranging for the people.

Seema Patra declared son mentally

unstable for standing up for maid

Ranchi : Jharkhand BJP leader Seema Patra had allegedly

chained her own son and

dumped him in a mental

asylum when he stood in

defence of their housemaid,

who was reportedly abused

and tortured by her.

When Ayushman Patra

objected to her conducts

towards their maid, Seema

declared that her son is

mentally unstable, put chain

on his hands and forcefully

got him admitted to the

Ranchi Institute of Neuro-

Psychiatry and Allied

Sciences.

It has been learnt that after the episodes of tortures on Sunita,

the maid, made way to the press, Seema got her son discharged

from the medical facility on Monday.

Jharkhand Governor Ramesh Bais, meanwhile, has taken

cognisance of the matter and expressed "serious concern" over

the lackadaisical attitude of the police.

He also sought to know from the DGP as to why no action has

been taken against the accused yet.

Meanwhile, the police on Tuesday recorded Sunita's statement

in the court under Section 164 of CrPc.

Sunita told the court that she had been dabbed with hot pan

all over the body a lot of times. Also, she was hit with iron rod,

due to which she lost 2-3 teeth. In fact, she was also not provided

food or water for days, Sunita said.

Sunita was rescued by the police on August 22 from the posh

Ashok Nagar locality in Ranchi. However, no arrests have been

made in connection with the case so far.

She was working at Patra's house for the last eight years.

Seema's husband, Maheshwar Patra, is a retired IAS officer.

The police had said that the girl somehow managed to send a

text message to a staff of Jharkhand government's personnel

department detailing her ordeal. He then informed the police and

eventually a team was set up to rescue the girl from Patra's residence.

Sumita hails from Jharkhand's Gumla district.


www.theasianindependent.co.uk

NEWS

01-09-2022 to 15-08-2022

5

Atrocities/Crime against Dalit and Adivasi

as per Crime in India Report, 2021

National Crime Record Bureau-NCRB

National Coalition for

Strengthening SCs and STs (PoA)

Act (NCSPA), a platform of more

than 500 Dalits and Adivasis civil

society organisations, communities,

leaders and activists welcomes the

release of Crime in India 2021 report.

Data on crimes against Dalits and

Adivasis draws a distinct pattern of

similarity between rural and urban

spaces. The latest data published by

the National Crime Records Bureau

(NCRB) also captures some anomalies

and interesting trends. Every

year there is an increase in atrocities

against Dalits and Adivasis. Even the

2021 Crime data shows the similar

trend of upsurge in violence; with

large proportion of crimes against

Dalits and Adivasi women and children.

The Crime in India Report 2021

data has revealed that:

Atrocities/Crime against

Scheduled Castes have increased by

1.2% in 2021 (50900) over 2020

(50,291 cases). Uttar Pradesh (13,146

cases) reported the highest number of

cases of atrocities against Scheduled

Castes (SCs) accounting for 25.82%

followed by Rajasthan with 14.7%

(7524) and Madhya Pradesh with

14.1% (7214) during 2021. The next

two states in the list are Bihar

accounting for 11.4% (5842) and

Odisha 4.5% (2327). The above top

five states reported 70.8% of cases of

atrocities against Scheduled Castes.

The recent incidents of atrocities

against Scheduled Castes in

Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Haryana

reflects the harsh realities of caste

based violence against SCs and STs.

Atrocities/Crime against

Scheduled Tribes have increased by

6.4% in 2021 (8,802 cases) over 2020

(8,272 cases). Madhya Pradesh (2627,

Islamabad, Aug 31 (IANS) The

death toll in Pakistan's catastrophic

flooding has increased to 1,162 as the

cash-strapped country struggles to rescue

and care for millions of people

displaced by the surging waters.

The National Disaster Management

Authority (NDMA) said the victims

included 384 children and 231

women, and the death toll is expected

to further increase in the coming days,

dpa news agency reported on

Wednesday.

More than 33 million people in

some 116 of Pakistan's 160 administrative

districts have been affected by

the floods triggered by incessant monsoon

rain since mid-Jine, with at least

72 districts being declared disaster

areas. Hundreds of thousands of people

are currently living without food,

clean water, shelter and basic basic

medicines.

The floods inundated over 2 million

acres of agricultural land, destroying

crops of cotton, rice, dates, tomato,

cases) reported the highest number of

cases of atrocities against Scheduled

Tribes (STs) accounting for 29.8%

followed by Rajasthan with 24%

(2121 cases) and Odisha with 7.6%

(676 cases) during 2021.Maharashtra

was next in the list with 7.13% (628

cases) followed by Telangana at

5.81% (512 cases). The above top five

states reported 74.57% of cases of

atrocities against Scheduled Tribes.

Violence against Dalit Women:

Cases of Rape against Schedule caste

women, (including minors) account

for 7.64% (3893 cases), with 2585

cases of Rape against Dalit Women

and 1285 cases of minor rape, of the

total cases reported. Cases of Rape,

Attempt to rape, Assault on women to

outrage her modesty and Kidnapping

of women and minors cumulatively

stood at 16.8% (8570 cases).

Violence against Adivasi Women:

Cases of Rape against Schedule Tribe

women stood at 15% (1324 cases) of

the total cases reported. Cases of

Rape, Attempt to rape, Assault on

women to outrage her modesty, and

kidnapping cumulatively stood at

26.8% (2364 cases).

Cases of Murder, Attempt to murder

and Grievous hurt were reported

as 967, 916 and 1286 respectively

against Scheduled Caste. Similarly for

Scheduled Tribes, Cases of Murder,

Attempt to murder and Grievous hurt

were reported as 199,148 and 114

respectively.

A total of 70818 cases of atrocities

against Scheduled Castes were pending

for investigation at the end of the

year 2021, including previous year

cases. Similarly, 12159 Cases of

atrocities against Schedule Tribe were

pending for investigation. A total of

52159 cases of atrocities against SCs

and 8825 Cases of atrocities against

STs were disposed off by police.

Charge sheeting percentage for the

atrocities against Scheduled Castes

ended with 80.0% and 81.4% for

Scheduled Tribes.

A total of 263512 cases of atrocities

against SCs and 42512 cases of

atrocities against STs came for trial in

the court. Out of these cases, trials in

10108 of atrocities against SCs were

completed and 1947 cases for STs.

Conviction percentage under the SCs

and STs (PoA) Act in conjunction

with IPC remained at 36.0% for SCs

and 28.1% for STs. The cases acquitted

(includes acquittal as well as the

cases where the accused is discharged)

is 5628 cases for SCs and

1399 for STs. At the end of the year

96.0% of cases of atrocities against

SCs were pending for trial whereas

for STs, the percentage stood at

95.4%.

Even after the amendments came

in force in year 2016, which generated

a hope to the Dalit and Adivasis

victims in accessing speedy justice,

the implementation of the amended

SCs and STs (PoA) Amended Act

2015 remains a challenge. With the

audacity with which crimes are conducted

it is very much evident that

there is complete absence of fear and

lawlessness. Apart from violence,

being perpetrated on Dalits and

Adivasis, there has been an increase

in Untouchability practices in schools,

access to drinking water, access to

education, healthcare, and dignity

remains a challenge.

We, on behalf of Dalit and Adivasis

communities call on the Union and

State Governments, political parties

elected representatives to take a stand

against the rising caste based in the

country.

We call upon the Government of

India to robustly, enforce and implement

the new provisions of the

amended Scheduled Castes and

Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of

Atrocities) Act 1989 (2015).

Take swift and robust action

against the dominant caste perpetrators

violating the human rights of

Dalits and Adivasis.

Conduct an open and transparent

investigation under the Scheduled

Castes and the Scheduled Tribes

(Prevention of Atrocities)

Amendment Act, 2015 and prosecute

those Government and police officials

who are found to have aided and abetted

criminals.

Robustly implement the Exclusive

Special Courts mandated in the

amended act for speedy trials. We

demand immediate action to end

atrocities against Dalit and Adivasis;

and we will not be appeased by mere

promises.

Mr. Rahul Singh

General Secretary

National Dalit Movement for

Justice (NDMJ)-NCDHR

& Secretariat In-charge,

National Coalition for

Strengthening the POA Act and

Its Implementation (NCSPA)

+91 9999101936

Death toll in catastrophic Pakistan flooding reaches 1,162

chilli and other vegetables.

On Tuesday, the UN issued a flash

appeal for $160 million in emergency

aid to help Pakistan.

"Pakistan is awash in suffering,"

UN Secretary-General Antonio

Guterres, who is due to visit the country

next week, said in a video message

at the launch of the appeal.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister

Shehbaz Sharif urged the developed

world not to leave countries like

Pakistan, which is responsible for less

than 1 per cent of the world's carbon

emissions, at the mercy of climate

change. "If it is us today, it can be

somebody else tomorrow. Threat of

climate change is real, potent & staring

us in the face," Sharif tweeted.

According to Pakistan's planning

minister, the flooding has already

inflicted around $10 billion in losses

to the economy, which has long been

struggling due to high current account

and fiscal deficits and chronic energy

shortages.


6 01-09-2022 to 15-08-2022 ASIA

www.theasianindependent.co.uk

Pakistan doesn't expect better

relations with India because

of disaster: Spokesperson

United Nations : Pakistan's

spokesperson has said that although

Indian Prime Minister Narendra

Modi has tweeted a message of

sympathy for the floods ravaging

his country, he does not expect the

disaster to lead to better relations

with India while it is "logical" in

these circumstances for countries to

"set aside other considerations and

to express support and solidarity".

Pakistan Foreign Ministry

Spokesperson Asim Iftikhar said on

Tuesday that first issues like

Kashmir would have to be resolved

for better relations between the

estranged neighbours and messages

of sympathy alone do not work in a

wider context.

While briefing reporters at the

UN headquarters through a video

link from Islamabad about the

floods in Pakistan, he was asked if

he expected more help from India

and if a disaster like this could

improve relations between the two

countries. He added, "I think you

would have seen the statement in

Modi's tweet. I would say that this,

you know, this is a humanitarian situation

and it's natural, it's logical

for countries and people to set aside

other considerations and to express

support and solidarity. So in that

context, we understand."

Modi had tweeted that he was

"saddened to see the devastation

caused by the floods in Pakistan.

We extend our heartfelt condolences

to the families of the victims,

the injured and all those affected by

this natural calamity and hope for

an early restoration of normalcy".

Iftikhar said that "talking about

the wider picture, unfortunately, I

France looking to build pipeline

from Spain to Central Europe

Paris : France is looking into

building a pipeline from the

Iberian peninsula to the south of

the country in a bid to open up

new energy sources in the

absence of natural gas from

Russia. "Spain and Germany are

two close partners of France; if

they make a proposal, we will

examine it," dpa news agency

quoted Economy Minister Bruno

Le Maire as saying here on

Tuesday. So far, France, which

relies heavily on nuclear power, has

been cautious about reviving the

Midcat natural gas pipeline, which

was shut down in 2017 as it was

unprofitable.

The Midcat pipeline is to run

from Barcelona across the Pyrenees

to a connecting point with the

French grid in Barbairan in southern

France. In Spain, the pipeline is

complete as far as Hostalric, 106 km

south of the border; in France,

around 120 km are missing.

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz,

like the Spanish government, had

already campaigned for the construction

of the pipeline to open up

new energy sources in view of the

war in Ukraine and a possible end to

Russian gas supplies. Spain sees this

as a project of European importance,

which it says must also

be financed by the EU.

The natural gas that

is to flow north through

the pipe could be

obtained from different

sources in Spain and

Portugal, since both

countries together have

a total of seven LNG

terminals. There are

also two pipelines to

the gas supplier Algeria

in North Africa.

Later, as part of the energy transition,

so-called green hydrogen,

which is generated with the help of

wind or sun, could also be passed

through.

So far there are only two smaller

gas pipelines from Spain across the

Pyrenees to the north with limited

capacity.

think you've not seen this attitude,

this positive attitude that would

build confidence, that would restore

the common relationship we have

with the country". "Despite the

goodwill that Pakistan has consistently

exhibited (for) six years we

don't see that reciprocated by our

friends across the border," he asserted.

He added that the problem is lingering

and is related hat is lingering

that is related to situation in the

region, which is very difficult in

Kashmir.

"So these issues need to be

addressed" and steps and actions

have to be taken to "create an environment

that is more conducive to

dialogue".

India has made it a condition for

Patna : Bihar Chief Minister

Nitish Kumar on Wednesday shifted

tainted minister Kartikeya Singh,

alias Kartik Master, from law to

sugarcane ministry.

The development comes after

Kartik Master, facing kidnapping

charges in a 2014 case, was issued a

warrant in the case by Danapur subdivisional

court.

The Nitish Kumar government

had come under fire from all quarters

after Kartik Master took the

oath of cabinet minister on August

16 despite Danapur sub-divisional

court issuing a warrant against him.

The opposition party leaders had

cornered the state government for

making a tainted MLC as law minister.

Kartik Master has neither surrendered

before the court nor

applied for anticipatory bail.

With the fresh development,

Kartik Master will look after the

sugarcane ministry with Shamim

Ahmed replacing him as the new

a resumption of dialogue that crossborder

terrorism should end.

Iftikhar did not reply to the part

of the question about expecting aid

from India.

According to media reports in

New Delhi, India was considering

extending assistance to Pakistan.

Meanwhile, Pakistan's Finance

Minister Miftah Ismail was reported

as saying that Islamabad would

consider importing vegetables from

India given the devastation to

Pakistan's agriculture.

Giving the scale of the devastation

in Pakistan, Iftikhar said that

more than 33 million people have

been impacted by the floods, which

have killed more than 1,000 people,

destroyed 1 million houses and

damaged 2 million acre of crops.

UN Secretary-General Antonio

Guterres has announced a $160 million

appeal for Pakistan flood relief.

Making the appeal, he said,

"South Asia is one of the world's

global climate crisis hotspots" and

"people living in these hotspots are

15 times more likely to die from climate

impacts". His Spokesperson

Stephane Dujarric said Guterres is

to visit Pakistan next week to show

solidarity with the victims of the

disaster.

Bihar CM Nitish Kumar shifts

tainted minister Kartik Master

law minister.

Kartik Master is very close to

jailed Bahubali leader Anant Singh

of Mokama. He won the MLC seat

of Patna under urban local body a

few months ago on the ticket of

RJD.


www.theasianindependent.co.uk

ASIA

01-09-2022 to 15-08-2022

7

Family members of B'desh

freedom fighters demand justice

Dhaka : Family members of 120

Bangladeshi freedom fighters and war

heroes who were hanged to death by

forces of former President Ziaur

Rahman on October 2, 1977, have

demanded justice by rallying in front

of the Central Jail in Dhaka.

On the occasion of the International

Day of the Victims of Enforced

Disappearances 2022, a discussion

meeting was organised at the Central

Shaheed Minar on Tuesday under the

banner of "We want justice for the disappearance

and hanging of the brave

freedom fighters in 1977".

As many as 19 coups took place

when Ziaur Rahman, who founded the

BNP, led the country.

Around 1,500 were reportedly

purged mostly the freedom fighters,

the war heroes who later joined armed

forces.

At the event, Nurunnahar Begum,

70, wife of Delwar Hossain, demanded

to know the whereabouts of her

husband's grave.

Nurunnahar said within three years

of her marriage, her husband suddenly

disappeared. Later, she came to know

that her husband's body had remained

hidden after being murdered.

"If I knew where my husband was

buried, at least I could have offered

prayers at his grave," she told the

country leaders.

Family members are still frantically

keeping their pursuit to get hold of

their missing loved one's remains.

Liberation War Affairs Minister,

AKM Mozammel Haque said that

Ziaur Rahman killed 2,500-3,000

members of the military without a trial

in the name of suppressing the rebellion.

Freedom fighters were killed

selectively. said the bodies were

buried in Dhaka, Comilla,

Chattogram, Rangpur, Jashore, and

Bogura central jails.

Executions were carried out under

curfew in the dark of night.

The names and identities of the 209

people who were hanged in the trial of

the Special Military Tribunal formed

on the orders of military ruler have

been revealed.

World Leaders

pay rich tributes

to Gorbachev

Moscow : World leaders

were quick to pay rich tributes

to the late Soviet leader

Mikhail Gorbachev as the man

who ended the Cold War and

the arms race, as a statesman

who stood at the pivotal turning

point in world history.

He died on Tuesday due to a

long illness at a hospital on

Moscow

Russian President Vladimir

Putin expressed his "deep sympathies"

over Gorbachev's

death, Kremlin spokesman

Dmitry Peskov told Russian

news agencies.

Peskov said Putin, a former

KGB agent who had an

ambiguous relationship with

Gorbachev, will send a

telegram of condolences to the

late leader's family and friends

on Wednesday morning.

UN chief Antonio Guterres

praised Gorbachev as "a oneof-a-kind

statesman who

changed the course of history"

and "did more than any other

individual to bring about the

peaceful end of the Cold War".

EU chief Ursula von der

Leyen hailed Gorbachev as a

"trusted and respected leader"

who "opened the way for a free

Europe".

His "crucial role" in bringing

down the Iron Curtain,

which symbolised the division

of the world into communist

and capitalist blocs, and ending

the Cold War left a legacy "we

will not forget", she wrote on

Twitter.

French President Emmanuel

Macron described Gorbachev

as a "man of peace" on Twitter

early Wednesday, saying he

"opened a path of liberty for

Russians. His commitment to

peace in Europe changed our

shared history". UK Prime

Minister Boris Johnson said he

"always admired the courage

and integrity" Gorbachev

showed to bring the Cold War

to a peaceful conclusion.

"In a time of Putin's aggression

in Ukraine, his tireless

commitment to opening up

Soviet society remains an

example to us all," he said in a

Twitter post, referring to

Moscow's ongoing offensive in

its former Soviet neighbour.

US President Joe Biden

praised the former Soviet

leader as a "man of remarkable

vision." Gorbachev had worked

to bring about democratic

reforms in the Soviet Union

after decades of brutal political

repression, Biden said in a

White House statement issued

late on Tuesday.

"These were the acts of a

rare leader, one with the imagination

to see that a different

future was possible and the

courage to risk his entire career

to achieve it. The result was a

safer world and greater freedom

for millions of people," he

said.

Foreign cigarettes worth

Rs 8 cr seized in

Vijaywada by Customs

New Delhi : The Customs

officials at Vijayawada have

seized 80,40,000 Paris brand

cigarettes packed in 804 cartons

worth Rs 8 crore which

were being transported in two

seperate lorries.

This is the highest-ever

seizure of smuggled foreign

cigarettes reported by the

Customs Commissionerate

(Preventive), Vijaywada, since

its formation in 2014.

An official on Tuesday said

that after receiving specific

information about the smuggling

of foreign brand cigarettes

into Vijayawada city in

lorries, Customs officials were

keeping surveillance.

On early Tuesday morning

they intercepted a lorry with

Tamil Nadu registration on

suspicion at Kesarpalli along

the

Vijayawada-

Visakhapatnam national highway

(NH-16).

Upon receiving the intelligence

on similar modus

operandi, another team proceeded

to Vijayawada-

Hyderabad road and intercepted

another lorry with Bihar

registration. On inspection, it

was found that both vehicles

were loaded each with 134

high-density polyethylene

sacks containing smuggled

goods stitched from the top.

Upon questioning, both the

drivers told the officials that

they left from Patna and were

on their way to Vijayawada as

per the instructions of a booking

agent.

The drivers, however, said

that they had no idea about

what was being loaded into the

vehicles. The officials said that

they seized 80,40,000 Paris

brand cigarettes packed in 804

cartons under the Customs

Act.

"Smuggling foreign cigarettes

is a lucrative business to

black marketeers to make a

huge profit as they avoid customs

duty. Smuggled cigarettes

don't have pictorial

warnings on them, as is

mandatory as per the provisions

of Tobacco Products Act.

The cigarettes don't have manufacturing

address on the

packets and no bills of procuring

or importing," the official

added.


8 01-09-2022 to 15-08-2022 NEWS

www.theasianindependent.co.uk

36 F-7BGI aircraft purchased

by B'DESH FROM CHINA

to boost MILITARY supplies

New Delhi : China has been trying

since a long time to emerge as a major

defence exporter to India's neighbouring

countries like Bangladesh,

Pakistan etc.

The F-7 BGI is a multi-role capable

aircraft manufactured by Chengdu

Aircraft Corporation, China. It was

specially designed to meet the requirements

of Bangladesh Air Force for

cost-effective multi-role fighter aircraft.

It is said to be the most advanced

version of the F-7 fighter aircraft ever.

F-7 BG upgraded with J-7G technology

for Bangladesh. Unlike other

cheaper and downgraded export variants

of J-7G, the F-7 BGI (I for

Improved) is in fact more advanced

than J-7G it is developed from.

Improvements of F-7 BGI over F-7BG

such as 3 MFDs and more powerful

fire control radar would in turn, incorporated

to J-7G2 developed later. The

capability of F-7 BGI is improved

over earlier F-7BG resulted from

upgrades listed below, and delivery of

16 such fighter aircrafts was signed in

2011 and completed in 2013. Even

with the latest J-7 technology, this aircraft

does not have the capability to

carry any BVR missile and is armed

only with short-range, infrared homing

air-to-air missiles for air to air

combat, like other J-7s.

* F-7 BGI has a speed of Mach 2.2

* 5 Hard-points to carry air-to-air

missiles, laser-guided bomb, GPSguided

bombs, drop tanks

* Full glass cockpit

* F-7 BGI has KLJ-6F radar

* Afterburner: F-7 BGI (82 kN)

thrust

* F-7 BGI got J-7G2 Airframe with

double delta wing. This improves

the lift at high angles of attack and

delays or prevents stalling

* G-limit: +8 g / -3 g

* Service ceiling: 17,500 m (57,420

ft) for F-7 BGI

* 3 Multi functional HUD displays

and HOTAS

* Reportedly more maneuverable

than most of the Mig21s and many

of the other contemporary fighters

* F-7 BGI can armed with the PL-5,

PL-7 and probably the PL-9 short

range air-to-air missiles

* Can carry bombs and unguided

rocket pods of 3000 pound, including

Chinese laser-guided bombs

Tamil Nadu: VCK leader Thol

Thirumavalavan urges CM Stalin to

curb violence against Dalits

Chennai : Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi (VCK) leader

and MP Thol Thirumavalavan has issued

a statement, urging Tamil Nadu Chief

Minister M K Stalin to take measures to

curb violence committed against Dalits

in the state.

Thirumavalavan’s statement on

Tuesday comes in the wake of data published

by the National Crime Records

Bureau (NCRB) for 2021. As per the

statement, while 1,144 cases related to

atrocities against Dalits were recorded in

2019, the numbers rose to 1,274 cases in 2020 and 1,377 in

2021. During the AIADMK government’s rule, atrocities

against Dalits happened with the support of the government,

and this should not continue in the DMK regime,

Thirumavalavan said. He pointed out that 53 Dalits were

killed in Tamil Nadu last year and the state ranked seventh in

the country with respect to cases of atrocities against Dalits

in 2021. Citing NCRB data, Thirumavalavan said, when it

comes to violence and discrimination against Dalit women,

Tamil Nadu ranks higher. He noted that data showed that 123

Dalit women were raped in 2020 and among them, 88 women

were below 18 years of age. Tamil Nadu ranked fifth in the

country with respect to atrocities committed against Dalit girl

children and in 2021, 123 Dalit women were raped and

among them, 89 were children, he said.

Thirumavalavan also pointed out that the NCRB report

showed that the Tamil Nadu police have been lethargic in

conducting investigation into cases related to violence

against Dalits. While 694 such cases were not investigated in

2020, 825 were not looked into in 2021, he said. In 40 per

cent of the registered cases, the chargesheet was not filed, he

further said, adding that 186 cases were closed by the police,

citing misinformation and lack of sufficient evidence.

“The NCRB report states that the police department’s

lethargic attitude is the reason behind the increase in atrocities

against Dalits. The chief minister should take cognisance

of the report and take required measures. We request the chief

minister to make Tamil Nadu a state where there are no atrocities

committed against Dalits,” Thirumavalavan said.

Pak floods damage iconic

Mohenjo-daro ruins

Islamabad : Iconic sites in Pakistans

Sindh province such as the Mohenjo-Daro

ruins, Kot Diji, Ranikot suffered widespread

damage during the recent catastrophic

floods.

At Mohenjo-Daro alone, the record rain

have damaged excavated areas and

exposed the ones buried underneath by creating

furrows in them, Dawn news reported.

The accumulated water has seeped into

the excavated areas, loosening the soil and

resultantly tilting the walls.

This site, among the primary surviving

bastions of the Indus Valley Civilization as

it dates back to 2,500 B.C., is one of the

last remaining connections Pakistan has

with prehistory, Dawn reported.

The Mound of the Dead, one of

Mohenjo-Daro's most iconic features, is

covered in blue tarpaulin.

The torrential rain that have left most of

Sindh inundated have not spared these

ruins either, and workers scramble to reinforce

the retaining wall of the mound as

water seeps down into the unexcavated

parts of the site, carving channels as it

goes, Dawn reported.

While the government and welfare

organisations battle to provide relief and

rehabilitate the hundreds of thousands left

homeless by the savage monsoon downpours,

heritage and archaeological sites

across the province are also in dire need of

repair.

Reports emanating from various parts of

the province paint a pretty bleak picture;

the very forts, tombs which symbolise the

glorious past of the region are now in danger

of crumbling, Dawn reported.

Apart from that, the Buddhist stupa at

Thul Mir Rukan has fallen victim to the

inclement weather as its drum has been

broken.

The floods have not spared the famous

Makli monuments in Thatta and Banbhore

either, both internationally renowned

archeological sites.


www.theasianindependent.co.uk ASIA 01-09-2022 to 15-08-2022 9

Rajasthan logged

highest number of rape

cases in 2021: NCRB

Jaipur : Rajasthan recorded the highest number of rape

cases in the country in

2021, according to data

recently released by the

National Crime Records

Bureau (NCRB).

As per the numbers,

the crime rate in the country

has increased by more

than 19 per cent compared

to the previous year

(2020). While it ranks

second after Uttar

Pradesh in overall crime

against women, it continues to be ahead in rape cases.

Of the total 31,677 rape cases registered in the country, as

many as 6,337 were in Rajasthan, while Uttar Pradesh

reported 2,845. In the year 2020, the registered cases of rape

in Rajasthan were 5,310, which saw a 19.34 per cent rise in

2021.

A total of 4,28,278 cases of crime against women were

registered across the country in the year 2021. While Uttar

Pradesh tops with 56,083 cases, it is followed by Rajasthan

where 40,738 cases have been registered. Last year,

Maharashtra ranked third with 39,526 cases and West Bengal

fourth with 35,884 cases.

Soon after the figures of NCRB became public, the BJP

attacked the Ashok Gehlot government in the state.

Targeting the Gehlot government, former Chief Minister

Vasundhara Raje said: "It is shameful that 6,337 cases of

rape have been registered in the state in last one year which

is the biggest proof of the failure of the Congress government.

The morale of the criminals in the state is so high that

the law and order system has succumbed under the Congress

government. The state government should remember that

Rajasthan is recognised by the respect of sisters and daughters,"

she said.

BJP state president Satish Poonia also slammed the state

government for ranking first in terms of women crimes.

Poonia said that in order to save his chair, the chief minister

has forgotten the responsibility of maintaining law and order.

Rapes in the state have become an everyday affair. Nowhere

is the dignity of women safe. This half population will teach

a lesson to this government, he added.

Meanwhile, Rajasthan police, on its twitter account said:

"There could be several reasons for the increase in the number

of crimes in the state police figures. These include some

citizen-centric police initiatives. More cases come to the fore

due to e-FIR or women helpdesk etc." "Shameful and scary

truth!" tweeted MP Diya Kumari. "Rajasthan number 1 in

the country in women's atrocities !!@NCRBHQ. The figures

of the 2021 report released by the Congress clearly show the

insensitivity of the Congress government of Rajasthan

towards the safety of women," she added.

I-T raids 22 locations

in Lucknow, Kanpur

Lucknow : Income Tax raids are being carried out at 22

places simultaneously

in Uttar Pradesh,

including Lucknow

and Kanpur in connection

with the corruption

cases.

According to

sources, raids are being carried out on the premises of the

contractors associated with UPICON.

Under the action taken by the Income Tax Department,

about one-and-a-half dozen officers/employees working in

many departments in Uttar Pradesh have come on the radar.

These include Industries Department, Entrepreneurship

Development Institute, Entrepreneurship Training Institute,

UP Industrial Consultant Limited and some institutes of private

sector.

PGI Chandigarh performs first

robotically assisted bioresorbable

stent IMPLANTATION

Chandigarh : The first ever case of

robotically assisted bioresorbable stent

implantation in the world was done by

the Department of Cardiology in the

Advanced Cardiac Centre of the

PGIMER here as an interventional procedure.

The case was performed by Yash Paul

Sharma, Department of Cardiology

head, and his team.

The patient was a 47-year-old with

coronary artery disease and 90 per cent

stenosis of major coronary arteries.

Patient underwent successful implantation

of bioresorbable stents through the

Corindus Robotic Arm of Cardiac Cath

Lab.

The Postgraduate Institute of Medical

Education and Research (PGIMER) is

the first centre in India where roboticassisted

percutaneous coronary intervention

(PCI) has been done. The robotic

PCI has the advantage of a high degree

of precision and cuts down radiation

exposure.

Newer bioresorbable stent with thinner

struts (100 microns) developed in

India have been introduced and now

these stents dissolve in body over twothree

years leaving the natural artery

intact. Older generation bioresorbable

stent had strut thickness of 150 microns.

Itanagar : Four Army helicopters

remained on standby to undertake an

aerial search once the weather clears to

trace Tapi Mra, the first mountaineer

from Arunachal Pradesh to conquer

Mount Everest, and his associate Niku

Dao, who had gone to climb the state's

highest peak, defence officials said on

Wednesday.

Defence spokesman Lt Col Mahendra

Rawat, quoting Deputy Commissioner

of East Kameng district, said that the

two members of the expedition have

been untraceable since August 17 as

reported by the remaining six members

of the expedition who reached Seppa

from their expedition base camp on

August 29 evening.

The state government has sought help

from Indian Army's Tezpur-headquartered

Gajraj Corps in the search and rescue

mission. "Indian Army has already

mounted the operation. Two ALH and

two Cheetah helicopters have been put

on standby, these would be used for aerial

reconnaissance of the area with one

of the team members onboard once the

weather clears," Lt Col Rawat said.

He said that Army's highly trained and

motivated special forces and Arunachal

Scouts teams are also being employed

The clinical registry of patients with

newer generation bioresorbable stent

and also robotic PCI is being carried out

in the PGIMER, which has achieved

least mortality (6.8 per cent) in patients

with acute coronary syndrome, including

cardiogenic shock and comorbidities,

of all age groups.

4 Army copters to trace Arunachal's

missing Everester Tapi Mra, aide

for the ground search operations in the

challenging terrain of the expedition

area. East Kameng district officials said

that Mra and Dao were reported missing

since they had embarked on scaling

Arunachal Pradesh's highest snowcapped

peak 'Khyarw Satam' (6,900

metres). A district official said that special

rescue teams are all set for a search

operation if any clues on the actual location

of missing mountaineers are found

and if necessary rescue teams would be

airdropped for evacuation.

It takes about a week to trek to the

base camp (5,000 metres) of 'Khyarw

Satam', which is not only tough terrain,

but also needs a trek through dense

forests to reach the place.

Mra, 37, had climbed the highest peak

of the world on May 21, 2009.

Chief Minister Pema Khandu prayed

for the safety of the missing mountaineers

and said that the state Sports

Department is ready with plans to trace

them.

Sonia Gandhi's mother passes away in Italy

New Delhi : Congress interim president Sonia

Gandhi's mother Paola Maino passed away at her

home in Italy on Saturday and her funeral took place

on Tuesday, party leaders said on Wednesday.

In a tweet, Congress General Secretary Jairam

Ramesh said: "Smt. Sonia Gandhi's mother, Mrs. Paola

Maino passed away at her home in Italy on Saturday

the 27th August, 2022. The funeral took place yesterday".

Sonia Gandhi is abroad for her medical check up,

and is accompanied by both Rahul Gandhi and

Priyanka Gandhi. She was also supposed to visit her

ailing mother.

Rahul Gandhi is supposed to return early and

address a Congress rally in the national capital on

September 4.


10 01-09-2022 to 15-08-2022 ASIA

www.theasianindependent.co.uk

Lahore traders seek

permission for vegetable

import from India

Islamabad : In view of the

skyrocketing prices of vegetables

amid the ongoing floods and

relentless monsoon rain across

Pakistan, the Lahore Chamber of

Commerce and Industry (LCCI)

on Tuesday demanded the government

to give permission for

vegetable import from neighbouring

India through the Wagah

border.

LCCI President Nauman

Kabir urged the government to

grant permission to import vegetables

from India to control its

prices, Geo News reported.

"The recent floods have

destroyed crops of tomato,

onion, potato and other vegetables

across the country," he said,

adding that the crisis is expected

to prevail for the next three

months.

The vegetable crisis could

further worsen in September,

October and November, he

added.

It will take a few days to

transport vegetables from India

to Pakistan via the Wagah border,

Geo News reported.

The prices of vegetables

skyrocketed as the grocery

vendors are charging

exorbitant prices from

consumers amid the

countrywide floods triggered

by torrential rains.

The traders are making

hefty profits at a time

when the death toll from

the relentless monsoon

rains has exceeded the

1,100 mark and inflicting

$10 billion loss on the

country's economy.

According to the

details, tomato is being

sold at 250 PKR per kg in

the market while its official

price is 190 PKR per

kg. Similarly, the vendors

are selling onion at 300 PKR to

320 PKR per kg while the commodity's

rate was fixed at 290

PKR by the authorities, Geo

News reported.

Potatoes are being sold at 120

PKR to 140 PKR per kg instead

of its official rate of 100 PKR

per kg.

Ginger's official rate is 360

PKR per kg but it is available for

380 PKR per kg in the market.

Garlic is being sold at 250

PKR per kg while its official rate

is 200 PKR per kg.

Six million Afghans at risk

Women's cancer checkup

camp Conducted at

VILLAGE JAKHLAN

Recently, with the help of Nehru Yuva Kendra ed by it. Doctors say that cancer is curable if it is

Sangrur, under the leadership of Nehru Yuva volunteers

of block Dhuri, writer & Social activist Keeping this in mind, cancer camps are being

detected early.

Aman Jakhlan and NYV Skinder Singh, a cancer organized in villages. Therefore, on the occasion

checkup camp was organized at village Jakhlan, of the 75th anniversary of independence, this is a

in which the team of Homi Bhaba Cancer serious initiative of the government, which is providing

such camps for women in villages. In such

Hospital Sangrur visited village Jakhlan and

other nearby areas. Village women were also a situation, it is the duty of the people to give full

checked up. As we know how fast cancer is support to the administration and employees in

spreading in the society, women are mostly affect-

such social service initiatives.

of famine : UN official

Kabul : A top UN official has warned

that 6 million Afghans are at risk of

famine as the war-torn country continues

to face extreme hardship and uncertainty

under the Taliban regime.

country's economy each week.

But there are complaints that the

Taliban is allocating the majority of the

money to its supporters.

"Poverty is deepening, the population

UN humanitarian chief Martin is still growing, and the de facto authorities

Griffiths made the remarksat a UN

Security Council meeting on the humanitarian

situation in Afghanistan, reports

dpa news agency. More than half of the

country's population needs humanitarian

assistance, Griffiths said. With the

Taliban's return to power on August 2021,

the country's situation has further deteriorated.

Unemployment and extreme poverty

have forced tens of thousands of

Afghans to flee their country.

In addition, a devastating earthquake

and flash floods have compounded the situation.

The international community is

pumping roughly $40 million into the

have no budget to invest in their own

future," Griffiths said. He said the UN

urgently needs $600 million to support

preparation for winter, such as upgrades

and repairs to shelter, warm clothes, and

blankets, and an additional $154 million

for food and livelihood assistance.

According to the Human Rights Watch

(HRW), more than 90 per cent of Afghans

have been suffering from some form of

food insecurity since the Taliban takeover

in August 2021, skipping meals or whole

days of eating and engaging in extreme

coping mechanisms to pay for food,

including sending children to work.

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www.theasianindependent.co.uk

ASIA

01-09-2022 to 15-08-2022

11

Now insert emojis

in Google Docs

as you type

New Delhi : Google has

allowed users to insert emojis

while writing in Google

Docs, as they will not need to

pull up emoji icons from

other places anymore into

their documents.

Google recently added

emoji reactions to Docs, and

now the users can add them

in actual documents.The feature

supports the most recent

emoji.

"Building upon the recently

announced emoji reaction

feature, you can now express

yourself in a new way by

searching for and inserting

emojis directly inline with

your text in Google Docs,"

said the company.

The emoji tool is available

to all Google Workspace customers,

as well as legacy G

Suite Basic and Business

customers, along with users

with personal Google

accounts. There is no admin

control for this feature. To

search for and add emojis

directly inline with text in

Docs, Google has simple

steps to follow.

The simple way is to just

type "@ (emoji name)," and

typing "@emoji" will pull up

a searchable emoji picker,

like the one on your smartphone.

The company said the new

feature has been rolled out

for some users today and will

reach everyone by the end of

September. The new system

gives users several ways to

get at emoji, and Google has

listed those on its website.

India to see 45-50 mn

EVs on road by 2030,

charging top concern

New Delhi : India's e-

mobility journey is on a fast

track, with an estimated 45-50

million electric vehicles (EVs)

on road by 2030, a new report

said on Tuesday.

As the EV ecosystem

matures at a rapid pace, a critical

facilitator of EV adoption

is ready availability of slow

and fast chargers ensuring easy

access to efficient and costeffective

charging, according

to a KPMG in India report.

"Development of a robust

charging network has gone

hand-in-hand with accelerated

EV adoption across the world,

and we believe a similar trend

is expected to play out in India," said Rohan

Rao, Partner, M&A Consulting, KPMG in

India. Charging technologies will vary by different

vehicle segments and public and private

charging solutions will be deployed to serve

different customer segments and use cases,

according to the report. "2Ws and 3Ws are

best suited for AC slow charging. Battery

swapping is likely to be the more prevalent

model for use cases requiring quick charging

turnaround," it added. The Indian market is

likely to have a dense network of AC private

and public chargers and DC chargers to be

restricted to buses and few use cases for 4Ws

and LCVs.

According to the report, expectations from

home/workplace charging are likely to be different

from destination charging or on the go

charging which will differ from fleet charging.

"Strategic partnerships for real estate and

interoperability among CPOs/ service

providers are crucial to strengthen customer

proposition," the findings showed. "With an

estimated 50 million EVs on Indian roads by

2030, the potential opportunity for a pure play

charging business is enormous, Rao added.

Wild elephant enters Assam's Tezpur town, goes on rampage

Guwahati : Panic spread

Assam's Tezpur town on Saturday

when a wild elephant entered the

town after crossing the Brahmaputra

river and went on a rampage, damaging

a few vehicles parked on the

road, officials said on Tuesday.

Sonitpur district Superintendent

of Police, Susanta Biswa Sarma told

IANS that the elephant entered at

around 7.30 p.m.

"As it came into the middle of the

town all of a sudden, people got

panicked. However, the elephant

could not cause much

damage to property. A

few vehicles were damaged

by it," he said.

Sarma said that

Sonitpur district has

dense forests in many

places and hence whether

the elephant came all the

way from Kaziranga

National Park or any

other place could not be

ascertained.

"The forest officials took the necessary

action and the elephant finally

went back to the jungle," he

added. Divisional Forest Officer

Ramesh Gogoi said that these types

of incidents happen in Tezpur town

once or twice every year.

Asked about where the wild elephant

came from, he said: "This

cannot be said precisely. But since

Kaziranga is at a good distance from

Tezpur, it is possible that the elephant

came from some nearby forest."

According to the forest officials,

the elephant entered a house in

the Chanmari area of the town in

search of food. It then went to a park

where a large number of people

gathered to catch glimpse of the animal.

While crossing a local bus

stand, the elephant damaged a car

and a few two-wheelers that were

parked roadside. Meanwhile, the

scenes of the wild elephant on a

rampage in the town went viral on

social media.

On kanshi TV

channel 772.

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6 :00 pm

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6 :00 pm

Ambedkarites News and Views

by

BUDDHIST INTERNATIONAL MEDIA

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12 01-09-2022 to 15-08-2022 NEWS

www.theasianindependent.co.uk

The good, bad and ugly of

the Rupee hitting an all

time low against the Dollar

Indian National Rupee (INR)

has not been in news for the right

reasons so far this year. It has been

dragged down by the perfect storm

of international pressures and

geopolitical headwinds. However,

the current situation is a necessary

wake-up call to regulators and policymakers

to strengthen the currency

by making Rupee assets

more valuable to foreign investors

via effective tax policies, the

exporting of higher-value services,

and growth-focused economic

strategies.

While rising inflation, tightening

monetary policy, and climbing

crude oil prices have made the current

fiscal a difficult one for the

INR, the Russia-Ukraine war

sparked a near-freefall, with the

Rupee having lost nearly 7 per

cent in value since Russia's invasion

on February 24. Meanwhile,

the US Federal Reserve's rate

hikes (+150 bps so far in 2022)

have also sparked record capital

outflows of over $35.6bn from the

equity and debt markets between

October 2021 and June 2022

($29.7bn in H12022 alone), making

it the longest selling streak in

Indian equity markets since liberalisation.

All these factors led to

the rupee hitting the 80-marktwice

in July, with monetary and fiscal

attempts to reverse the slide having

yielded mixed results so far.

So why did we see the Rupee

slide?

First, the Rupee's current crisis

was not unexpected.

Given rising inflation and the

Relative Purchasing Power Parity

Rule, post-pandemic tightening of

monetary policy was always anticipated;

the pace of the same has

only accelerated due to inflationary

pressures. This, in turn, has

predictably sparked a flight of capital

from emerging economies to

safe Dollar-denominated assets

leading to the depreciation of the

Rupee.

Second, while swift currency

depreciation is a cause for concern,

some sectors will see strong

gains.

Export-oriented sectors, such as

IT, textiles, and pharmaceuticals,

stand to gain from a falling Rupee.

However, there are caveats, given

that India is a net importing nation

with a widening trade deficit that

surged to more than $31bn in July

(over 3x higher YoY). Therefore,

non-export-oriented sectors, such

as telecommunications, renewables,

FMCG, and automotive,

which heavily depend on imported

raw materials, largely stand to

lose. Add to this the rising global

commodity prices and worsening

domestic inflation, and one may

conclude that the costs of INR

depreciation far outweigh the benefits.

At the same time, it may also be

interesting to note that while the

Rupee is performing poorly vis-avis

the U.S. Dollar, it has fared relatively

well vis-a-vis other currencies

YTD, including the Japanese

Yen (+9.80 per cent) and Turkish

Lira (+26.25 per cent).

Meanwhile, remittances, which

were valued at $89.4bn in 2021

and expected to chart an upward

trajectory in the near term, stand to

be more beneficial for recipients

now with a weaker Rupee, especially

given that the US is the

largest source of these funds.

Three, the Rupee's depreciation

presents an opportunity to reform

the currency and enhance its global

standing.

Dipping into forex reserves may

slow the slide, but the current situation

warrants long-term solutions

that can transform the Rupee into a

coveted asset class rather than just

another currency. RBI seems to be

headed in the right direction. Its

announcement last month to allow

the Rupee to be used to settle

international transactions opens

the door for a possible internationalisation

of the INR. This may

have been evoked mainly to

enable India to import cheap

Russian oil, but it is the right

move.

However, Rupee internationalisation,

increasing foreign capital

inflows, and making the currency

more stable is just a way to make

INR assets more attractive, which,

given the crossroads, the RBI and

Government find themselves at,

should be a top priority.

How can we make INR assets

more attractive?

First, tax benefits for foreign

investors. This could be via proposed

capital gains tax waivers for

overseas debt investors, which

would also help get Indian bonds

listed on global bond indices. It

could also be via new-age asset

classes, such as real estate investment

trusts (REITs) and infrastructure

investment trusts (InvITs), or

via Government-led economic

planning, such as the development

of GIFT City and the International

Financial Service Centre (IFSC) in

Gujarat.

Second, exporting higher-value

services. Even as manufacturing

PMI growth has lost steam, the

services sector has become a reliable

engine of growth. And within

services, sub-sectors from real

estate and health to education and

hospitality can learn a lot from IT

when it comes to exporting higher

value services that are both knowledge-

and technology-intensive. In

this light, developments and policies

such as Skill India, Digital

India, Startup India, and endeavours

to ease the compliance burden

in the education sector and

boost MSME productivity are

welcome steps.

Third, supporting growthfocused

and consumer-oriented

economics. The full potential of

India's demographic dividend and

the vast domestic market is yet to

be tapped, and doing so is crucial

for both fiscal and monetary prudence.

After all, the INR crisis will

abate eventually.

It is already showing signs of

easing: FPIs recently turned buyers

for the first time in nine

months amid a softening Dollar

and the Rupee is below 80 again.

But whether this momentum will

be sustainable depends largely on

how quickly and effectively the

potential of the domestic consumption

market and demographic

dividend is tapped.

All in all, given the Fed's consecutive

rate hikes and the inflationary

environment, a weakened

Rupee was a fait accompli. India is

making all the right moves by

internationalising the Rupee and

making INR assets attractive on a

global level. Given all the tailwinds

the country has working in

its favour - economic growth, a

vast domestic market, and a young

population - regulators and policymakers

must ensure that Indian

assets remain an attractive destination

for global capital on a relative

yield basis.


www.theasianindependent.co.uk

NEWS

01-09-2022 to 15-08-2022

An important Covid fallout:

Communication skills put to test

13

'Work from home', zoom meetings and a

drastic cut down on physical interactions

across the table have compelled business

organisations to search for a 'hybrid model' of

running the enterprise, resetting the paradigms

for performance evaluation and maintaining

the efficacy of human resource development.

Both in India as also in the developed West,

organisations are said to be facing a situation

where the employees have got used to not

going to place of work so much so that they

often allow their personal convenience to prevail

over the requirements of their organisations.

Employees could even choose to ignore the

call from above for a physical or virtual meeting.

Evolution of the 'new normal' for organisational

functioning is work in progress, but

many testing points for leadership are already

cropping up, demanding a revised strategy for

business management and productivity

enhancement - in the scene left behind by the

Covid onslaught.

Flexible working hours, participative

supervision by leaders at various levels, who

earlier just gave orders and looked for compliance

reports, and a changed framework of

boss-subordinate relationship in which the

senior would now be required to have some

idea of the challenges an employee could be

facing on family front, are some major

reforms that the organisations have been made

to adopt for their own good.

The HRD people in any organisation have

found their tasks multiplying and becoming

onerous on account of the new-found importance

of upskilling and re-skilling, revision of

methodology for performance evaluation and

the need for working out ways and means of

preserving confidentiality of information

exchanged by employees on line.

A very crucial test of leadership in a situation

of dispersed and distant location of the

work force is the effectiveness of communication

sent top down on digital media. The days

of lengthy letters and notifications despatched

in hard copies are over and online communications

are the norm now, but this is precisely

the reason why a senior today is going to be

judged for his or her ability to choose the right

words and expressions in organisational communications.

It is important that the messages are concise,

to the point and clear in their intent. It is

said that if you can speak on a subject - as in

a conference across the table - you are a master

of its content and that if you can write

about it, you are the close second best.

Online communications are, therefore, an

indicator of a certain perfection of knowledge

and the ability of the sender to impart that

knowledge to the person at the other end.

Apart from communications primarily

meant for exchanging data, anything that a

leader conveys must be meaningful, must

have connectivity with the larger objectives of

the organisation and must evoke interest of the

reader.

The communication should be drafted so as

to show that it has a purpose. Limitation of

space in a tweet or a short WhatsApp message

cannot be the excuse for arid, arrogant or

incomplete communications.

A paragraph can be condensed into a line

by a competent communicator. Poor communication

skills devalue leadership, while good

messaging enhances the image and

respectability of the leader. Covid is a

reminder to all organisations that flawless

communications are a must for keeping up

productivity.

Importance of communication also comes

out in the formulation of an organisation's

mission, drafting of the ethical framework and

defining of the parameters for performance

evaluation. These functions all connect with

the leadership and logically make the quality

of communications a hallmark of the latter.

It is not adequately realised that communication

is a product of the individual's education

and innate wisdom and also a measure of

the leader's 'emotional quotient' - considering

that all business is 'human activity'. Therefore,

it becomes the prime mover of the organisation's

success.

One of the earliest business advertisements

- 'Lipton's means good tea' - remains the

benchmark of brief, intelligible and complete

messaging.

Three principles of good communication

which will be always relevant are - 'brevity

should not be at the cost of clarity', 'it should

not lend itself to more than one interpretation'

and 'the communication should not hurt

human sensitivity'.

Success of a senior today depends a great

deal on participative supervision, which basically

allows a free two-way communication

with the juniors, discourages buck passing and

establishes an internal transparency that keep

the working environ free of favouritism.

Hierarchy-driven organisations often bred

the malady of seniors avoiding the responsibility

of taking a decision and pushing the

'files' up to their superiors - Covid intervention

has on the other hand further strengthened

the progressive trend of successful

organisations becoming 'flat' in the sense of

delegating the power of decision-making.

A welcome upshot of the Covid era is the

greater hands-on involvement of seniors in

work as team leaders and a greater recognition

of merit of the individual as the centre of all

productivity. This is going to stay as a learning

from the past. At the base of all these

reforms is the skill of all round communication.

As already mentioned, it is the HRD leaders

who face the challenge of reframing the

strategy of recruitment, continuing with inhouse

training in the new environ and changing

deployment of the personnel in keeping

with the demands of Covid contingency.

Remote handling called for new protocols,

new modes of communication and special

measures to prevent security breach in a situation

of wider online sharing of information.

Programmes of re-skilling for multi-tasking,

enhancing organisational loyalty and

strengthening quality controls have to be

reframed as Covid proved to be a great

'equaliser' for business organisations on one

hand and putting the focus on competition

built around 'quality' of product and service on

the other.

Communication skills again are central to

Social Media Marketing (SMM), which uses

the digital outreach to intelligently use personal

data to cater to the choices of customers.

Preserving the confidentiality of proprietary

information of the organisation requires

security orientation programmes for the

employees working from remote locations,

framing of instructions that were easily understood

and a new methodology for conducting

the security audit.

HRD-related communications will test the

leadership in a more demanding, way but once

the organisation gets them right, it would also

stand to gain substantially.

Information is the anchor of communication.

In an environ of declining physical interactions

within the organisation, difficulty

about creating a common information grid for

employees dispersed in remote locations and

the paucity of reliable information itself

because of the rise of the phenomenon of fake

news on social media, importance of business

intelligence has increased manifold and the

function of analysis has also gained momentum.

Leadership of the organisation has to measure

up to the maxim 'imagination is more

important than knowledge' -given by no less a

thought leader than Albert Einstein.

The capacity to look beyond what the facts

in front indicate would set a new benchmark

of success for leadership in all spheres - more

so for those who are heading business enterprises

in the Covid era of uncertainties of both

demand and supply and the challenge of

'delivery' facing them.

Technology that has brought a new kind of

success to global players handling retail, is

essentially about meaningful and timely communication.

Broadly speaking, Covid restrictiveness

has put a premium on communication and

since good communications are a product of

intelligent minds, it has ultimately brought

overriding importance to the intellectual qualities

of farsightedness, total devotion to the

mission at hand and - what is equally crucial -

compassion, in the leadership guiding the

enterprise. It has proved once again that a

good leader is a good communicator too.


14 01-09-2022 to 15-08-2022 NEWS

www.theasianindependent.co.uk

Want to create some great

moments for retiring Jhulan on

England tour: Harmanpreet

Mumbai : India women's

cricket captain Harmanpreet Kaur

has said the team would like to create

some "great moments" for retiring

pace bowler Jhulan Goswami,

who is expected to play her

farewell match at Lord's on

September 24.

The 39-year-old Jhulan will follow

Mithali Raj into retirement,

after the veteran India cricketer

had called it a day in June, bringing

an end to a glorious 23-year

career.

India are scheduled to play a

white-ball fixture against England,

comprising three T20Is followed

by an equal number of ODIs, with

the series concluding at Lord's on

September 24.

Harmanpreet, who took over the

captaincy from Mithali, said she is

eyeing a fitting farewell for Jhulan.

When Harmanpreet made her

international debut in

March 2009, Jhulan was

India's captain.

"When I debuted, she

(Jhulan) was the captain

and it is a great opportunity

for me to lead the last

ODI she plays,"

Harmanpreet was quoted

as saying by ICC. "We

will be trying to create

some great moments for

her so that she can take

back good memories

from it."

Holder of several

records, Jhulan has

played 12 Tests, 201

ODIs and 68 T20Is so far.

She is the only bowler to

have claimed more than

200 ODI wickets in

women's cricket. In the

upcoming three-match

ODI series against England, she

will look forward to adding more

scalps to her current tally of 252

and finish her glorious career on a

high.

Harmanpreet expressed that a

player of Jhulan's calibre is irreplaceable

and "is a great example

for all of us."

"Her (Jhulan's) approach to the

team and (wanting to) do well in

every game is something nobody

can beat," Harmanpreet said.

"When I entered the team, she was

leading from the front and I have

learnt from her.

"Nobody can fill her place. She

used to work hard in her early days

and today also, I have not seen her

change in the way she trains during

practice sessions," Harmanpreet

added.

"She bowls two-three hours,

which hardly a few do. She is a

great example for all of us. There

are many who have started playing

looking at her. Even I looked at

how she prepares before games

and how her mindset before a

match is and learnt from her. I am

lucky to have seen her, worked

closely and spent time with her."

Fixtures: India tour of

England

1st T20I: 10 September, Riverside

Ground, Chester-le-Street

2nd T20I: 13 September, County

Ground, Derby

3rd T20I: 15 September, County

Ground, Bristol

1st ODI: 18 September, County

Ground, Hove

2nd ODI: 21 September, St

Lawrence Ground, Canterbury

3rd ODI: 24 September, Lord's,

London

Irish premier hopeful of

early meeting with new

British counterpart

Dublin : Irelands premier

Micheal Martin

expressed hope of an early

meeting with the incoming

British Prime Minister as he

signalled a desire to

strengthen British-Irish

relations amid the ongoing

impasse over the Northern

Ireland Protocol.

Martin stressed the need

for a political resolution

that would ensure powersharing

returns to Northern

Ireland, reports dpa news

agency.

The pro-British

Democratic Unionist Party

(DUP) is currently blocking the formation of

a devolved executive at Stormont in protest

at the protocol, a set of post-Brexit trading

arrangements that have created red tape on

the movement of goods across the Irish Sea.

Relations between London, Dublin and

Brussels remain strained over the protocol

deal that Britain and the EU agreed in 2019

as a way to avoid a hard border on the island

of Ireland. The British government is putting

legislation through Parliament that would

empower ministers to unilaterally scrap the

checks on Irish Sea trade the protocol has

created. It is a move that the EU claims

would breach international

law.

Martin pledged to work

with the incoming Prime

Minister, be it Liz Truss or

Rishi Sunak, with the aim of

securing a return to powersharing

in Northern Ireland.

On a visit on Tuesday,

Martin was asked how he

would engage with outgoing

UK Prime Minister Boris

Johnson's successor.

"I think relationships are

very important and I've

always in my political life

worked to build relationships

with people," he said.

"And the Irish-British relationship is particularly

important."

He said the UK-Ireland relationship was a

"key plank" of the 1998 Good Friday peace

agreement. "So we will work with the new

British Prime Minister and we will meet

early and engage to work on the very strong

issues between us, both bilaterally in the

context of economics and so forth and,

undoubtedly, in the context of the Good

Friday Agreement and the need to have a

restoration of the (Northern Ireland)

Assembly and Executive and also a strong

British-Irish relationship."

Indian returns home

after serving 28 years

in Pakistan jail

Ahmedabad : An Indian

man arrested by the

Pakistani agencies in 1994

and awarded life term by a

court for espionage, returned

and reunited with his family

28 years later.

Kuldeep Yadav (59), was

released last week by the

Pakistan Supreme Court,

after completion of his

imprisonment in 2021.

He has sought financial

aid from the Government of

India and other citizens.

After completing his

graduation from Sabarmati

Arts and Commerce College

from Ahmedabad and pursuing

LLB course, Kuldeep

was searching for job opportunities

in 1991, when some

persons approached him

with an offer to "work for

the country".

"In 1992, I was sent to

Pakistan, after serving for

two years on foreign soil, I

planned to return in June

1994, but before making it

to my motherland, I was

picked up by Pakistani agencies

and produced before a

court. For two long years, I

was interrogated by various

agencies," he told IANS.

Narrating his plight,

Kuldeep said in 1996, the

Pakistan court awarded him

life imprisonment on the

charges of spying and sent

him to Kot-Lakhpat Civil

Central jail in Lahore.

"There I got a chance to

meet late Sarbjeet, the jail

authorities used to arrange

meetings between us every

fortnight. Till Sarabjeet's

death, Pakistani and Indian

jail inmates shared same

barracks." He was received

by the Indian officials and

his brother on the Indian

side last week. "After serving

the country for 30 years,

I am 'Zero Batta Zero' today,

dependent on younger brother

Dilip and sister Rekha.

The government should pay

compensation like retired

soldiers. I too should be

given agriculture land, pension,

and land for a house, so

that I can rebuild my life. At

the age of 59, no one is

going to hire me. I appeal to

citizens to come forward and

extend support socially and

economically."


www.theasianindependent.co.uk

NEWS

01-09-2022 to 15-08-2022

15

Both men & women equally

contribute to infertility in India

New Delhi : The most recent

National Family Health Survey

shows that India's national total

fertility rate (TFR) has decreased

to below 2.0 for the first time

(NFHS). This troubling data is

thought to have a significant contribution

from infertility. A disturbed

biological clock that affects

mood and stress levels, sleep and

eating problems, diabetes, tuberculosis,

air pollution and exposure to

environmental pollutants, excessive

alcohol and tobacco use,

overexertion, etc. are major risk

factors for infertility in both sexes.

Gaudium IVF, a fertility treatment

facility, recognised for utilising

the most cutting-edge reproductive

technologies, has made a

stunning discovery in determining

that 40 per cent of men, 40 per cent

of women, and 20 per cent of both

combined are responsible for infertility

cases in India. Dr. Manika

Khanna, an infertility specialist

and laparoscopic surgeon and

founder of Gaudium IVF while

commenting on the major contributing

factors of infertility in

men and women said, "Infertility is

rapidly rising among men due to

their increased stress levels. We've

dealt with many such cases of male

infertility across India. In states

like UP and Bihar, the prevailing

use of tobacco adds up to a major

factor. Whereas in urban metro

cities, disrupted Circadian Rhythm

(i.e., biological clock of the body)

due to night shifts and excessive

pressure of meeting targets &

deadlines in Corporates, is causing

sleep and mood disorders often

affecting their mental health. In

women, fast declining ovarian

Dubai returnee held with gold

worth Rs 65L at Amritsar airport

Amritsar :

Customs officials

at Amritsar's Sri

Guru Ram Das Ji

international airport

have apprehended

a passenger

and recovered

undeclared gold

valued at around

Rs 65.16 lakh from

his possession.

According to

reports, the

Customs officials

held a passenger

who had arrived

from Dubai via Air

India flight IX -

192 on Tuesday.

The passenger

tried to cross through the green channel but was stopped due

to his suspicious movements. He denied carrying any contraband

when questioned by the Customs officials.

However, after a personal search, three transparent poly

pouches containing four pure gold chains weighing 1,240

gm (having a market value of Rs 65.16 lakh) were found

concealed in the undergarment worn by him.

The recovered gold has been placed under seizure.

Further investigation is in progress.

reserve is leading to a poor and

decreased egg number & quality.

Tuberculosis (TB), PCOD,

Hormonal disturbances,

Endometriosis, higher intake of

preservatives etc., are some factors

of immediate concern."

According to the research, every

couple is unique, thus their

New Delhi- India and France held

consultations on the UN Security

Council and multilateral issues in

Paris, with both sides briefing each

other about their priorities during the

countries' upcoming Presidencies of

the UNSC in September and

December, the Ministry of External

Affairs here said on Wednesday.

The two sides on Tuesday also held

discussions on initiatives around the

High Level Week of the upcoming 77th

Session of the UN General Assembly

in September, according to the

Ministry. Prakash Gupta, Joint

Secretary (UN-Political), led the Indian

delegation which also included officials

from the Embassy of India in

Paris. The French delegation was headed

by Ambassador Fabien Penone,

Director for International

Organization, Human Rights and

Francophonie Department of Ministry

for Europe and Foreign Affairs

(MEAE) of France, along with other

senior officials. " n keeping with India-

France Strategic Partnership, both

causative variables, success

prospects, and fertility treatment

journeys all differ noticeably. In

Tier 11 and Tier 111 cities across

the nation as well as metro areas,

there are several societal barriers

that must be overcome that link the

treatment of infertility to social

taboos & misconceptions. The

sides had an in-depth exchange of

views on various thematic and country

specific issues on the agenda of the UN

Security Council.

"Both sides agreed to strengthen

odds of a couple becoming pregnant

might be significantly

increased with the safe method of

fertility therapy. More people will

eventually open up about their

reproductive concerns and discuss

them with the IVF professionals as

awareness of fertility treatment

grows. This steadily increased selfassurance

would help a lot in overcoming

the infertility problems

that most Indian couples face.

"In my experience of treating

infertility in over 20,000 couples,

not just patients in India but also

from US and Europe, I've observed

that most people are not adequately

aware about the risk factors and

even more so are confused as they

become overwhelmed by the information

and data available online.

Therefore, I strongly advise them

to only refer to the credible sources

or educate themselves with the

consultation of IVF experts. In last

decade, there's been a great deal of

advancement and notable research

that has happened in this field of

medical science. What applies to

the western population might not

work well with the Indian race. Our

geography, climate etc., everything

counts when it comes to our body.

So always consult with your expert

doctors to reverse your lifestyle

disorders and treat infertility," further

added Dr. Khanna.

India, France hold consultations

on UN Security Council

their ongoing cooperation at the multilateral

platform on issues of mutual

interest, including on counter-terrorism,

UN Peacekeeping and Reformed

Multilateralism," the Ministry said.


16 01-09-2022 to 15-08-2022 NEWS

www.theasianindependent.co.uk

Mikhail Gorbachev, last big leader

of the Soviet Union, dies at 91

Moscow : Former Soviet Union

leader Mikhail Gorbachev, the last

of the titans in Russia who sought

economic reforms through his

famous 'glasnost' (openness) and

'perestroika' (reconstruction), died

in a hospital in Moscow. He was

91.

Gorbachev, an unquestioned

titan who embarked on a path of

radical reform that brought about

the end of the Cold War, reversed

the direction of the nuclear arms

race and relaxed Communist Party

controls in hopes of rescuing the

faltering Soviet state but instead

propelled it toward collapse, has

died in Moscow.

He was awarded the Nobel

Prize for peace in 1990 which he

shared with the US President then.

His death on Tuesday was

announced by Russian news agencies,

citing the government hospital

where he was being treated, but

no further details were immediately

available, The Washington Post

reported this evening.

For the sheer improbability of

his actions and their impact on the

late 20th century, Gorbachev ranks

as a towering figure. In 1985, he

was chosen to lead a country

mired in socialism and stultifying

ideology. In six years of cajoling,

improvised tactics and increasingly

bold risks, Gorbachev

unleashed immense changes that

eventually demolished the pillars

of the state.

The Soviet Union's collapse

was not Gorbachev's goal, but it

may be his greatest legacy. It

brought to an end a seven-decade

experiment born of Utopian idealism

that led to some of the bloodiest

human suffering of the century.

A costly global confrontation

between East and West abruptly

ceased to exist. The division of

Europe fell away. The tense superpower

hair-trigger nuclear standoff

was eased, short of

Armageddon.

None of it could have happened

but for Gorbachev. Along the way,

he let loose a revolution from

above within the Soviet Union,

prodding and pushing a stagnant

country in hopes of reviving it. In

nearly six years of high drama and

breathtaking transformation, Mr.

Gorbachev pursued ever-larger

ambitions for liberalization, battling

inertia and a stubborn old

guard, Washington Post said .

Archie Brown, an emeritus professor

of politics at the University

of Oxford's St. Antony's College

and one of the leading authorities

on Gorbachev, has written that

openness and pluralism were

among the premier's singular

achievements in a country that for

hundreds of years had been shackled

by authoritarian rule under the

czars and Soviet leaders.

Gorbachev introduced the first

genuinely competitive elections

for a legislature, allowed civil

society to take root and encouraged

open discussion of dark passages

in Soviet history.

At the same time, Brown said

Gorbachev suffered failures,

including his effort to break the

grip of central planning (Gosplan)

on the economy in reforms known

as perestroika, which got a start

but never went far enough, and his

inability to satisfy ambitions for

sovereignty among restive Soviet

nationalities, which contributed to

the centrifugal forces that broke up

the country.

Many of Gorbachev's most

remarkable accomplishments

came to haunt him. Liberalization

of the system "brought every conceivable

long-suppressed problem

and grievance to the surface of

Soviet political life", Brown

recalled. "Gorbachev's political intray

became monumentally overloaded."

After a failed coup attempt by

hard-liners in 1991, a weakened

Gorbachev finally relinquished

power to even more radical

reformers led by then Russian

President Boris Yeltsin. The Soviet

flag came down from the Kremlin

in December 25, 1991.

Gorbachev did not set out to

lower that flag. He was very much

a product of the system and the

tumultuous events that spanned

his lifetime, from Stalin's terror

and the unimaginable losses of

World War II, through the hardships,

thaws, triumphs, dashed

expectations and stagnation of the

postwar years.

Over many years, Gorbachev

came to see a huge chasm that

existed between the reality of

Soviet day-to-day life, often shabby

and poor, and the artificial slogans

of the party and leadership

about a bright future under communism.

Many others also saw

this gap and shrugged, but what

made Gorbachev different is that

he was shocked by it. By the time

he became Soviet leader, he had

fully absorbed the abysmal reality

but had little understanding of how

to fix it. He hoped that unleashing

forces of openness and political

pluralism would heal the other

maladies.

They could not, The

Washington Post said.

In the shadow of Stalin and war,

Gorbachev was born March 2,

1931, in the small village of

Privolnoye, in the black-earth

region of Stavropol in southern

Russia. His parents, Sergei and

Maria, worked the land in a village

that was little changed over centuries.

Gorbachev spent much of his

childhood as the favorite of his

mother's parents: He often lived

with them. His maternal grandfather,

Pantelei, was remembered by

Gorbachev as a tolerant man, and

immensely respected in the village.

In those years, Gorbachev

was the only son; a brother was

born after the war, when he was 17

years old.

Famine struck the region in

1933, when Gorbachev was just

two. Stalin had launched the mass

collectivization of agriculture, a

brutal process of forcing the peasants

into collective farms and punishing

those known as kulaks who

were somewhat better off. The collectivization

destroyed traditional

patterns of farming. A third to a

half of the population of

Privolnoye died of hunger.

"Entire families were dying,

and the half-ruined ownerless huts

would remain deserted for years,"

he remembered. Stalin's purges

took millions of lives among the

peasantry in the 1930s.

The 'Great Terror' affected

Gorbachev, too. His grandfather

on his father's side, Andrei, rejected

collectivization and tried to

make it on his own. In the spring

of 1934, Andrei was arrested and

accused of failing to fulfill the

sowing plan set by the government

for individual peasants.

"But no seeds were available to

fulfill the plan," Gorbachev

recalled of the absurdity of the

charge.

Gorbachev entered Moscow

State University, the country's

most prestigious, in September

1950, a peasant boy in the bustling

metropolis. He arrived with only a

village school education, and

friends who had acquired more

learning in their earlier years often

teased him. Gorbachev joined the

Communist Party in 1952.

The first two years of his university

life coincided with Stalin's

anti-cosmopolitan campaign,

aimed at Jewish scholars and writers.

This was an eye-opener for

Gorbachev. He recalled that one

morning, a friend, a Jew, had been

confronted by a shouting, taunting

mob and then crudely shoved off a

tram. "I was shocked."

Gorbachev came to see Stalin

differently. At the 20th Party

Congress, on February 25, 1955,

Nikita Khrushchev delivered his

famous "secret speech" denouncing

Stalin's personality cult and

use of violence and persecution.

Only after the speech, Mr.

Gorbachev recalled, "did I begin

to understand the inner connection

between what had happened in our

country and what had happened to

my family". His grandfather

Pantelei had said that Stalin didn't

know of his torture. But,

Gorbachev thought, maybe Stalin

was the one responsible for the

family's pain.

Gorbachev later frequently

called Khrushchev's speech

"courageous". It was not a total

break with the past, but it was a

break nonetheless.

While at the university,

Gorbachev met and married Raisa

Titorenko, a bright philosophy student.

She initially shunned the village

boy, but he eventually

charmed her.

In the two years after Stalin's

death, Moscow began to open up

to new ideas. Ilya Ehrenburg's

novel, "The Thaw", was published

in 1954. Gorbachev met a young

Czech student at the university,

Zdenek Mlynar, who became a

lifelong friend, and they enjoyed

stormy debates. The university

experience began to open

Gorbachev's eyes even further, but

at the same time, "for me and others

of my generation the question

of changing the system in which

we lived did not arise".

After the university, Gorbachev

decided on a career with the

Komsomol, the party's youth division,

as deputy head of the "agitation

and propaganda department".

This was a conformist career path.

Gorbachev threw himself into the

work, honing his speaking skills,

often making trips around the

Stavropol region to exhort young

people to be good socialists and

believe in the party. In an early

assignment, he was sent out to a

local district to extol Khrushchev's

speech on Stalin.

Gorbachev moved up rapidly

through the party ranks in

Stavropol to become the highestranking

official, the first secretary,

from 1970 to 1978. In farming and

industry, the heavy hand of the

state stifled individual initiative.

Theft, toadying, incompetence and

malaise were everywhere. Central

planning was both intrusive and

woefully inefficient.

Brown later wrote that

Gorbachev was "as pragmatic an

innovator as the conservative temper

of the times allowed". He supported

a farming plan to give

autonomy to groups or teams of

workers, including families. In

1978, Gorbachev wrote a lengthy

memo on the problems of agriculture

that called for giving "more

independence to enterprises and

associations" in deciding key production

and money issues. But

there is no evidence that these

ideas ever took root very widely,

and Gorbachev was definitely not

a radical. Gorbachev has said he

finally realized, as regional party

boss, that something much more

serious was wrong with the Soviet

system than just inefficiency, theft

and poor planning. The deeper

flaw was that no one could break

out with new ideas. "This was a

shock to me," Gorbachev said.

"This visit overturned all my conceptions."

Gorbachev visited Italy,

France, Belgium and West

Germany. What he saw in these

relatively prosperous democracies

was far different from what he had

been shown in Soviet propaganda

books, film and radio broadcasts.

Mr. Gorbachev realised multiple

voices were allowed to challenge

the power structure.

See on Page 17


www.theasianindependent.co.uk

NEWS

01-09-2022 to 15-08-2022

17

J'khand: Dalit houses demolished, families thrown out

Ranchi : A group of Muslim

strongmen at a village in

Jharkhand's Palamu district

allegedly demolished the houses of

Dalit families and forced them to

leave the locality, claiming their

houses were built on land that

belonged to a Madarsa.

The incident took place on

Monday in Murumatu village. The

Dalit families were residing there

in the houses -- mostly made of

mud and straw -- for almost 3-4

decades.

None of the members of the

community is said to be literate,

and they make ends meet by begging,

or by engaging in some petty

jobs.

When the Dalits resisted

attempts to demolish their houses,

they were allegedly roughed up.

Besides, they were forcefully made

to board two vehicles, and later

off-loaded and abandoned near a

forest. The Dalits somehow managed

to reach a police station and

complained about the matter.

They alleged that the Muslim

strongmen often used to assault

them, and also pressurised them to

vacate the village.

The police said the matter pertains

to a land dispute, adding that

action would be initiated after

investigation.

Continue Page 15

The Independence and Gandhi: In the

Clutches of Neo-liberalism

And, he said, "people there lived

in better conditions and were better

off than in our country. The question

haunted me: Why was the

standard of living in our country

lower than in other developed

countries?"

In a move that took him upward

in the Soviet power structure,

Gorbachev was elected a secretary

of the Central Committee, and put

in charge of agriculture in Leonid

Brezhnev's final years in power.

The general secretary was ill, and

some Politburo meetings lasted no

longer than 15 or 20 minutes. The

country was in serious trouble economically.

The war in Afghanistan,

launched by a coterie around

Brezhnev, turned into a quagmire.

The hopes of detente in the 1970s

evaporated, and superpower tension

escalated. Bread lines grew

longer. During the first four years

that Gorbachev was secretary for

agriculture in Moscow, there were

four successive poor harvests and

massive Soviet grain purchases

abroad.

From the time Gorbachev

arrived in Moscow in November

1978, through the early 1980s, an

intense Kremlin power struggle

played out between an old guard,

bastions of the party and the military,

and a handful of reformers,

most of whom were academics

with fresh ideas but no power base.

When Brezhnev died in 1982,

hopes were raised that his successor,

the former KGB boss Yuri

Andropov, would end the long

stagnation. Andropov promoted a

group of younger officials, including

Gorbachev, whom he had mentored.

Gorbachev brought some of

the academic reformers to his side,

the post said.

But Andropov died in 1984,

after only 15 months in office.

Gorbachev was briefly in contention

to succeed Andropov, but

was cast aside in a maneuver at the

last minute for Konstantin

Chernenko, a long-serving

Brezhnev acolyte. Five weeks after

Reagan was reelected to a second

term, in December 1984,

Gorbachev made a landmark trip

to London, where he left a strong

impression. He called attention to

the dangers of nuclear war and

emphasized Soviet fears of an

arms race in space. He promised

"radical reductions" in nuclear

weapons. In substance, Gorbachev

did not change Soviet policy, but

his youthful and vigorous style

spoke volumes. He seemed to

promise a more flexible approach,

a sharp contrast with the rigidity of

the past. Just after the visit, Prime

Minister Margaret Thatcher gave

an interview to the BBC. In her

first answer to a question, she

declared: "I like Gorbachev. We

can do business together."

On the evening of Sunday,

March 10, 1985, Gorbachev took a

call from the Kremlin doctor,

Yevgeny Chazov. Chernenko had

died of a heart ailment and complications

from emphysema. The next

day, Gorbachev was selected to be

the new general secretary.

Gorbachev has recalled that he

had a long talk with Raisa early in

the morning of March 11, strolling

the garden paths of their dacha outside

of Moscow just before dawn,

talking about the events and the

implications.

Gorbachev told her he had been

frustrated all the years in Moscow,

having not accomplished as much

as he wanted, always hitting a

wall. To really get things done, he

would have to accept the job.

"We can't go on living like this,"

he said. Shock waves and a

nation's demise

In his early days in office,

Gorbachev sent a shock wave of

excitement through a moribund

society. At a time when people

were accustomed to flowery but

empty official pronouncements,

when portraits of leaders were

dutifully hung from every wall,

when conformity suffocated public

discussion, Gorbachev's style was

refreshingly direct.

Often he talked too much,

wavered on important decisions,

and was slow to break out of the

old Soviet mind-set. Yet the

absolute core of his early drive was

to halt the decay in Soviet living

standards and rejuvenate society.

He believed that open discussion

was essential to the survival of

socialism. He didn't fear what people

had to say. He believed in

Lenin's ideals, but concluded that

leaders after Lenin had gone off

track, and he wanted to set it right.

It would have been so much easier

to fall back into the old habits,

to take the well-worn old pathways,

but Gorbachev did not. In a

combative speech to Leningrad

Communists at the Smolny

Institute, Gorbachev spoke largely

without notes, insisting that the

economy be re-energized, demanding

that people who could not

accept change must stand aside.

"Get out of the way. Don't be a

hindrance," he declared.

In 1990, Gorbachev toyed with

a plan to turn the country into a

market economy in 500 days, but

he discarded it. His economic policy

zigzagged back and forth. His

efforts to reform state-owned

industries were ineffectual. He

refused to take another key step,

freeing prices from state control.

Gorbachev also blamed the heavy

burdens of the arms race for his

economic failures.

"Defense spending was bleeding

the other branches of the economy

dry," he wrote in his memoir.

In politics, Gorbachev's revolution

from above grew ever more

radical as time went by. It reached

a climax March 26, 1989, with the

first relatively free election since

the Bolshevik Revolution for a

new Soviet legislature, the

Congress of People's Deputies. In

the balloting, the Communist Party

leadership in Leningrad was turned

out, pro-independence parties won

in the Baltics, and Yeltsin, the radical

reformer, triumphed in

Moscow. The Communist Party

establishment took a shellacking.

When the new legislature met

for the first time from May 25

through June 9, Gorbachev ordered

the proceedings broadcast on television.

Transfixed, millions of people

stayed home from work to

watch the broadcasts; the debates

broke new ground in freedom of

speech. But as with so many of

Gorbachev's daring moves, this

one had a double edge. Gorbachev,

the party, the KGB and the military

were lambasted with open and

often trenchant criticism. Soon,

Gorbachev's room for maneuver

began to shrink. The forces of freedom

and openness he had

unleashed began to overtake him,

creating obstacles and open resistance.

In later years, many analysts

said Gorbachev missed an important

opportunity in 1990, when he

might have split the Communist

Party into two: a more progressive

wing that aspired to Western

European social democracy, and

another branch harboring the old

guard.

Had Gorbachev taken this leap,

and become leader of the progressives,

he might have overcome the

divisions that were swelling up

around him. But Mr. Gorbachev

did not do it, and later that year a

backlash took root; Mr. Gorbachev

himself seemed to side with the

reactionary forces.

One of the most important

moments of Gorbachev's rule came

with the Chernobyl nuclear power

plant disaster in 1986. In the early

days after the accident, the Soviet

Union attempted to cover up the

extent of the catastrophe. Then a

radioactive cloud drifted toward

Europe, and the truth could no

longer be hidden. The experience

later reinforced Gorbachev's belief

in the value of glasnost, or openness.

Shevardnadze said that

Chernobyl "tore the blindfold from

our eyes and persuaded us that politics

and morals could not

diverge". With the sting of

Chernobyl still fresh, Gorbachev

that summer prepared to coax

President Ronald Reagan toward

an agreement on deeper cuts in

strategic nuclear weapons, while

also attempting to bottle up

Reagan's plan for a global missile

defense, known as the Strategic

Defense Initiative.

Soviet physicists had told Mr.

Gorbachev that they didn't think

Reagan's missile defense plan

would work; Gorbachev had

already decided not to build an

equivalent Soviet system. He did

not want, nor could the Soviet

Union afford, a new arms race in

space. Even so, Soviet officials

were puzzled and worried about

why the US was pouring money

into the missile defense project,

and they knew American innovation

and technology could be a

potent force.

Gorbachev and Reagan met in

Reykjavik, Iceland, on October 11-

12, 1986, for what was supposed to

be a quick discussion but soon

blossomed into much more. They

improvised, argued and bargained

their way toward the deepest cuts

in strategic nuclear weapons ever

contemplated in the nuclear age.

However, at the very end, on

October 12, a Sunday afternoon

and early evening, Gorbachev

demanded that Reagan confine his

missile defense research to the laboratory.

Gorbachev had planned

this challenge to Reagan all along.

The president refused. They

abruptly broke up, and the summit

ended without a deal.

The breakdown seemed to be a

diplomatic disaster at that moment,

but later it led to new progress in

nuclear arms control. Over the next

year, Reagan and Gorbachev

agreed to eliminate an entire class

of nuclear-armed missiles, the

intermediate-range rockets in

Europe, signing a treaty to scrap

them at the Washington summit in

1987, where Gorbachev spontaneously

stopped his limousine on

Connecticut Avenue and began

shaking hands with thrilled

passersby. In 1988, Gorbachev

announced a massive pullback of

conventional troops in Europe in a

speech at the UN. However, it was

later revealed that while

Gorbachev and Reagan were negotiating

nuclear weapons reductions,

the Soviet Union continued

to operate a sprawling, hidden biological

weapons program in violation

of its treaty obligations.

On December 25, Gorbachev

resigned and turned the nuclear

weapons controls over to Yeltsin,

as president of the Russian

Federation. Gorbachev gave a

short speech from the Kremlin.

When he took office in 1985,

Gorbachev said, he felt it was a

shame that a nation so richly

endowed, so brimming with natural

resources and human talent

endowed by God, was living so

poorly compared with the developed

countries of the world.

He blamed the Soviet command

system and ideology, and he

blamed the "terrible burden of the

arms race".

The Soviet people had "reached

the limits of endurance," he said.

"All attempts at partial reform,

and there were many, failed, one

after another. The country was losing

its future. We could not go on

living like this. Everything had to

be drastically changed."


18 01-09-2022 to 15-08-2022 NEWS

www.theasianindependent.co.uk

Lifestyle choices, lack of proper sleep, food and

exercise causing rise in heart attacks: Experts

Mumbai : Lifestyle choices,

increased stress levels, lack of

sleep, nutritious food and exercise

are primary causes of the rise in

cases of heart attacks in relatively

younger people, say experts.

The recent case of comedianactor

Raju Srivastava (58) suffering

a heart attack has put the issue in

spotlight again.

In May this year, noted singer

KK (53) died of cardiac arrest after

a concert in Kolkata.

“Smoking is the most important

among other risk factors like diabetes,

high blood pressure and cholesterol.

Lifestyle choices, lack of

sleep, nutritious food and exercise,

and increased stress levels are probably

responsible for heart attacks in

young people,” he said.

Also, COVID-19 has been

recently responsible for an increase

in heart attack cases among young

people in India, he added.

Dr Ajit Menon, consultant, cardiac

sciences at the Sir HN Reliance

Foundation Hospital in Mumbai,

claimed India is becoming the “diabetes

capital” of the world, and said

this is also why young people are

prone to heart attacks.

The number of young hypertensives

is dynamically increasing and

the factor leading to it is stress, he

said. Menon also pointed out the

physiology of Indians as another

factor. “If you look at the average

Indian, they have a much higher fat

content than an average European

of the same Body Mass Index

(BMI), which means the same

height and weight, and that difference

is quite staggering,” he said.

An average European’s fat content

is seven to eight per cent,

whereas that of an Indian is almost

12 to 23 per cent in terms of visceral

adiposity, he said.

“Something that was touted earlier

and is still relevant, and that is

Daily exercise for 30 to 45 minutes can keep the body fit

and free from many diseases like diabetes, hypertension,

says cardiac surgeon Dr Ramakanta Panda

called the thin fat Indian. This

means the person will look thin

from the outside, but his visceral

content of fat, which eventually

determines that the patient is going

to develop any atherosclerotic disease

and blockages etc, is on a

much higher side for Indians as

compared to Westerners who have a

much better muscle mass than

Indians,” he said.

Family history plays a very

strong role, and especially if the

mother had a heart problem at a

young age, chances of children getting

it are also reasonably high.

Genes is one thing which you cannot

alter, irrespective of what you

do, Menon said.

“Whatever lifestyle you lead, if

your genetic tendencies are

extremely high, there is a very

strong possibility that you will

develop blockages sooner or later.

So you need to assess yourself on a

periodic basis beyond a certain

age,” he said. Dr Ramakanta Panda,

leading cardiac surgeon and head of

Bethesda (US) : A cup of tea just

got a bit more relaxing.

Tea can be part of a healthy diet

and people who drink tea may even

be a little more likely to live longer

than those who don't, according to a

large study. Tea contains helpful

substances known to reduce inflammation.

Past studies in China and

Japan, where green tea is popular,

suggested health benefits.

The new study extends the good

news to the UK's favourite drink:

black tea. Scientists from the US

National Cancer Institute asked

about the tea habits of nearly a half

million adults in the United

Kingdom, then followed them for

up to 14 years. They adjusted for

Mumbai’s Asian Heart Institute,

also pointed to genetic tendencies

as an important factor.

“Other common reasons for heart

issues in the young include a strong

family history of heart disease, coexisting

medical conditions such as

diabetes and hypertension, lifestyle

problems such as smoking, obesity,

stress, lack of exercise and environmental

pollution,” he said.

He said sudden death is more

common in young people because

their body has not developed an

risk factors such as health, socioeconomics,

smoking, alcohol intake,

diet, age, race and gender.

Higher tea intake—two or more

cups daily—was linked to a modest

benefit: a 9% to 13% lower risk of

death from any cause vs non-tea

drinkers. Tea temperature, or adding

milk or sugar, didn't change the

results.

The study, published on Monday

in Annals of Internal Medicine,

found the association held up for

heart disease deaths, but there was

no clear trend for cancer deaths.

Researchers weren't sure why, but

it's possible there weren't enough

cancer deaths for any effect to show

up, said Maki Inoue-Choi, who led

alternative circulation.

This is not so in older people as

they develop blockages over time

and their body gets enough time to

get accustomed to the change, he

said.

Daily exercise for 30 to 45 minutes

can keep the body fit and free

from many diseases and health conditions

like diabetes, hypertension,

obesity, Panda said.

This in turn helps prevent cardiac

disease. But, he also cautioned

youngsters about not hydrating their

body enough before a strenuous

exercise. “When you do not hydrate

but exercise heavily and sweat, the

blood becomes thicker and you may

develop a clot. Also, exercising

beyond your capacity causes stress,

which may result in the rupturing of

an artery. Youngsters must guard

against this,” he said.

Panda said periodic screening

tests are needed to identify the

problem at an early stage, so that

proper treatment may be given

before there is significant damage

to the heart. Common screening

tests include electrocardiogram

(ECG), 2D echocardiogram, stress

test, CT scan for coronary calcium.

Cardiac screening tests are advisable

once a year or once in two

years after the age 40 in the general

population or after the age of 30 in

the high-risk population, Panda

said. Dr Mohit Garg, consultant and

head of accident and emergency

department at the Global Hospital

in Mumbai, said if cardiac arrest is

left untreated, irreversible brain

damage occurs within three to eight

minutes and death rapidly follows.

Even in patients who are resuscitated

or revived from cardiac arrest,

post-cardiac arrest brain injury is

the main cause of death and the

main cause of long-term disability

in those who survive the acute

phase, he said.

Tea drinkers enjoy possible health benefits, study suggests

the study.

A study like this, based on

observing people's habits and

health, can't prove cause and effect.

“Observational studies like this

always raise the question: Is there

something else about tea drinkers

that makes them healthier?” said

Marion Nestle, a professor of food

studies at New York University.

“I like tea. It's great to drink. But

a cautious interpretation seems like

a good idea.”

There's not enough evidence to

advise changing tea habits, said

Inoue-Choi. “If you drink one cup a

day already, I think that is good,"

she said. “And please enjoy your

cup of tea.”


www.theasianindependent.co.uk

NEWS

01-09-2022 to 15-08-2022

19

APPLE WATCH, iPhone set to focus on

17 health, fitness areas in 200 nations

Health institutions are using Apple devices, APIs and frameworks to strengthen

relationship between physicians and patients with meaningful data

New Delhi : With iOS 16 and

watchOS 9 this fall, Apple Watch

and iPhone will offer features that

focus on 17 areas of health and fitness,

from heart health to sleep,

women's health, mobility and more,

according to the tech giant.

Apple users can now store over

150 different types of health data

from Apple Watch, iPhone, and

connected third-party apps and

devices. They can also choose to

share certain types of this health

data with loved ones. These features,

available in nearly 200 countries

and territories, provide users

with high-quality data gathered

throughout the day and night, said

the company.

As pandemic show us the importance

of being fit and healthy,

Apple is creating devices and services

packed with "science-based

technology" that equips people

with even more information and

acts as an intelligent guardian for

their health, "so they are no longer

passengers on their own health

journey", according to Jeff

Williams, Chief Operating Officer

at Apple. The company feels drawn

to this work not only because of the

opportunity to help advance human

health but "because we are driven

by our principles to devote talent,

resources, and expertise to where

we can do the most good." "We

believe passionately that technology

can play a role in improving

health outcomes and encouraging

people to live a healthier day," he

said in a recent Apple Health report.

The Cupertino-based company

said that its application programming

interfaces (APIs) are enabling

third-party developers to create

new solutions that promote healthy

lifestyles and innovation in health.

"There are now tens of thousands

of apps on the App Store that

use our HealthKit API, so they can

incorporate data users choose to

share from the Health app to offer

innovative health and fitness experiences,

with rigorous privacy and

data security protocols," according

to the report. With users' permission,

these apps can also contribute

data back to the Health app.

Apple recently collaborated with

Stanford University in the US to

build the Apple Heart Study, which

was a first of its kind in the medical

community and the largest virtual

cardiac clinical study during its

time.

"It paved the way for Apple's

work with some of the world's leading

institutions to build three firstof-their-kind

research studies to

advance the science across

women's health, hearing health,

heart health, and more," said the

report.

Health institutions are using

Apple devices, APIs, and frameworks

to strengthen the relationship

between physicians and patients

with meaningful data, and enable

care from anywhere.

According to the report, health

organisations and insurance companies

around the world have collaborated

with Apple to integrate Apple

Watch in their wellness programmes

to promote healthier

behaviours and improve individual

health at a large scale.

"Our work primarily falls into

two categories: personal health and

fitness features on Apple Watch and

iPhone, and the work we are doing

with the medical community to

support research and care," said

Williams.

Cannabis users are more prone to nicotine

consumption, SAY RESEARCHERS

Washington : Individuals who

use medicinal cannabis are more

prone to consume nicotine products

than the general population, according

to a recent study.

The study, published in the

American Journal on Addictions, is

among the first to examine nicotine

use among patients of a medical

marijuana dispensary.

“Simultaneous use of cannabis

and nicotine is a growing concern,

but while the relationship between

recreational cannabis and nicotine

use is well-established, little is

known about nicotine use among

users of medical cannabis,” said

Mary Bridgeman, a clinical professor

at Rutgers Ernest Mario School

of Pharmacy.

The researchers surveyed 697

patients between ages 18 and 89 at a

medical marijuana dispensary on

their nicotine and cannabis use, how

they self-administered the cannabis

(smoked, vaped) and the medical

conditions that qualified them for

using therapeutic cannabis. They

found that close to 40 per cent of

medical marijuana users also use

nicotine—sharply higher than the 14

per cent of US adults who smoke.

Therapeutic cannabis users who

also used electronic cigarettes or

didn’t use nicotine at all were about

four times more likely to vape,

rather than smoke, cannabis than

those who exclusively smoked cigarettes.

The study also found that 75

per cent of the respondents smoked

cannabis rather than vaped and

about 80 per cent of the cigarette

smokers reported planning to quit in

the next six months.

These findings reveal that while

medical cannabis dispensaries may

recommend vaping rather than

smoking cannabis due to the health

concerns associated with combustible

products, this recommendation

alone may not influence

patients who also smoke cigarettes,”

said co-author Marc Steinberg,

author of the study and a professor

in the department of psychiatry at

Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson

Medical School.

“Between the higher rates of

nicotine use in those using medical

cannabis, the fact that cigarette

smokers opt to smoke cannabis as

well and that those people also are

seeking to quit using nicotine presents

a strong argument that dispensaries

provide tobacco control messaging

at the point-of-sale to

encourage cigarette smokers to

quit,” Steinberg added. “The strategy

also could increase the chances

that a medical cannabis user would

vape the product, which is a less

harmful route than smoking.”


20 01-09-2022 to 15-08-2022 NEWS

www.theasianindependent.co.uk

Michael Jackson used

19 fake IDs to score drugs,

reveals new documentary

Los Angeles : King of pop

Michael Jackson, who died in June

2009, used upto 19 fake IDs to buy

drugs, reveals a new documentary.

The 50-year-old was found unresponsive

in his Los Angeles home

after suffering cardiac arrest brought

on by the anesthetic propofol - a drug

reportedly routinely administered by

Jackson's physician, Conrad Murray.

The death was ruled a homicide,

and Murray took all the blame. He

was convicted of involuntary

manslaughter and was sentenced to

four years in prison, serving just

under two behind bars, reports

nypost.com.

But Murray endured the brunt of

public hatred even though Jackson,

who would have turned 64 on

Monday, was abusing drugs throughout

much of his life in alarming doses

and was allegedly easily enabled to do

so by an array of other doctors - ones

who never saw a day in jail after the

King of Pop's death, according to a

new documentary 'TMZ Investigates:

Who Really Killed Michael Jackson'

due out on Fox next month.

"It's a lot more complicated than

just: Dr. Murray was at his bedside

when he died," Orlando Martinez, the

LAPD detective assigned to Jackson's

death, says in the documentary.

"Circumstances had been leading

up to his death for years, and all of

these different medical professionals

had allowed Michael to dictate his

own terms, get the medicines he wanted,

when he wanted them, where he

wanted them," Martinez maintains.

"All of them are the reason why

he's dead today."

Jackson had been taking the propofol

in 'Gatorade'-size bottles at the

time of his death, according to Ed

Winter, the assistant chief coroner for

LA County.

The medical community, in many

ways, facilitated his obsession with

the substance, according to Murray,

who adds that propofol "was the only

way he could go to sleep, especially

when he was getting ready for a tour."

"It was not a big deal - he had been

using it for decades, different doctors

had given it to him from all around the

world... and they allowed him to

sometimes inject the medicine,"

Murray, who routinely administered it

to Jackson, says. "He was able to push

the propofol himself, and the doctors

allowed him to do it, and that was

OK."

On top of the makeshift sleep medicine

- one that addiction specialist Dr.

Drew Pinsky explicitly says is neither

a medication that should be used to

treat insomnia nor one that is routinely

stored outside of medical facilities -

Jackson was also hooked on other

drugs throughout his career, according

to the documentary.

It all began in 1984 when he suffered

both second and third-degree

burns to his scalp during a pyrotechnic

disaster while filming a Pepsi

commercial and was given painkillers

to recuperate.

In Jackson's own words, drugs had

taken over his life in the years that followed.

"I became increasingly more

dependent on the painkillers to get me

through the days of my tour," Jackson

says in archived audio, explaining

why he cancelled the latter part of his

1993 'Dangerous' world tour and

announced that he was going into

treatment.

All that time on the road was misery

for the star act. In archived

footage, Jackson confesses: "I don't

like it... I go through hell touring."

Things had only gotten worse in

the years to follow as Jackson fostered

a relationship with famed Hollywood

dermatologist Arnold Klein, who died

of natural causes at age 70 in 2015.

Klein admitted to dishing out the opioid

Demerol along with more substances

to the superstar.

TMZ Executive Producer Harvey

Levin says it was "routine" for MJ to

go get high on Demerol "for hours at

a time" at Klein's office.

"Dr. Klein was more than happy to

oblige and he justified with minor

procedures," Levin says. "And he did

this over and over and over again."

Jackson was taking Demerol at a

whopping 300 milligrams at a time,

according to Pinsky. The pop singer

even mentions the substance in his

1997 track "Morphine."

Debbie Rowe, Jackson's ex-wife

who worked for Klein as an assistant

for years, spoke only about the doctor

and not of her late ex-husband. She

says that Klein was known for doing

unethical things to woo the

Hollywood elite in his office.

"There were times he would write

prescriptions for things that had nothing

to do with what we were treating

them for," Rowe says in the doc. "He

would write prescriptions that were

not conducive to what a dermatologist

would normally write a prescription

for."

She added that Klein was "a person

that you want to hang with because

you're going to be able to get something

in return."

It was also revealed that as Jackson

and Klein's relationship turned into

more of a friendship rather than that

of doctor and patient, the dermatologist

allegedly kept fraudulent documents

on the singer.

Jackson had created 19 false aliases

to collect different drugs, and Klein

had kept a special book noting which

prescriptions went to each fake identity,

according to Winter.

"The way that Michael went about

getting all these drugs was doctor

shopping. He had multiple, different

doctors that he was involved with and

he would go to 'Doctor A' and ask for

a sedative, and then he would go to

'Doctor B' and may ask for the same

one," Jackson's plastic surgeon, Dr.

Harry Glassman, claims.

"Michael is responsible, to a great

extent, for his own demise, but he certainly

had a lot of help from the medical

community."

Murray, who admits to having

deeply cared for Jackson, says none of

that information had ever been shared

with him. "He made it look as though

I was his sole physician... If I had

known that Michael was going to a

dermatologist's office or any doctor

and being shot up or dripped up with

opioids on a daily basis, there would

be a two-step dance. One, he has a

problem; two, I'll take you to where

you need to be treated - and if you fail

to do that, I am out," Murray says.

Things reached a boiling point in

2009 when Jackson was readying for

his "This Is It" tour as his behaviour

became a noticeable worry for director

Kenny Ortega.

"There are strong signs of paranoia,

anxiety and obsessive-like

behaviour. I think the very best thing

we can do is get a top psychiatrist in,

to evaluate him ASAP. There's no one

taking responsibility. Caring for him,

on a daily basis," Ortega wrote in an

email of concern during rehearsals.

"Today I was feeding him, wrapping

him in blankets and calling his

doctor," he added.

Jackson had also been rehearsing

for the tour that took so much out of

him up to the day before his death on

June 25 - one more factor in his own

demise.

"Michael Jackson was a drug

addict and he was a master at manipulation

because I was manipulated by

Michael," Murray says. "I did not

enable him at any time in his addiction.

Even Martinez admits that Murray

has unfairly suffered for consequences

that were not necessarily his

whole doing.

"We knew that there were multiple

doctors doing what Dr. Murray had

done and that they had done it over

the course of years," Martinez says.

"We decided to concentrate on that

night for the criminal side of it. So

that negated all of the other history

with the other doctors."

"There are a lot of folks to blame

who have never had a reckoning for

his death."


www.theasianindependent.co.uk

NEWS

01-09-2022 to 15-08-2022

21

Why women hesitate in investing

in menstrual hygiene products

New Delhi : Menstruators on average

have about 450 periods during

their lifetime which translates to 7

youthful and productive years spent

menstruating. Damn!! The agony and

the pain, it's real. Periods are directly

related to mental, reproductive, and

skin health. As per a 2017 report,

women in India spend about Rupees

two hundred per month on their periods,

whereas women in developed

countries invest nothing less than

rupees 1500 to 2000 on their menstrual

health.

Then why do women in India not

spend enough on their monthly period

needs?

Urban India is one of the largest

consumer markets in the world and

women are the key decision makers

and buyers in any middle-class household.

Indian consumers have jumped

into the bandwagon of all global

trends be it Korean beauty, international

cosmetics, fast fashion, or food

hauls. Indian consumers across all

geographies are comfortable upgrading

their spending on everyday essentials

such as body washes, and food to

luxury items like perfumes and jewelry.

However, when it comes to menstrual

hygiene and health an uptick on

spends is not visible. This trend suggests

that the low perceived value for

menstrual health and hygiene ensures

the avoidance of investment in a

known devil called "Periods". Or it

could be because of the traditional and

cheaper alternatives available for the

menstruators like plastic sanitary pads

or homemade cloth pads which have

proven to be harmful in the long run

for our bodies and environment and do

not provide adequate support for a

comfortable period.

In rural areas, lack of awareness,

deep-entrenched stigma, and low

spending capability pushes menstruators

to use clothes, newspapers,

leaves, and other unhygienic alternatives.

But is the rural mindset any different

than the urban mindset when it

comes to period care? Why is period

still considered a luxury when it is a

monthly recurring phenomenon? Do

you think the habit shift or spending

would have been higher if the menstruators

were men?

Each month menstruators go

through a range of hormonal and physical

shifts leading to mood swings,

fatigue, rashes, cramps, urinary tract

infections, and more. Lifestyle disorders

like PCOS/PCOD, infertility, and

cervical cancer are rapidly growing

and are directly linked to menstrual

health management. Reports by the

government of India and UNICEF

suggest a lack of awareness and a

deep-rooted period of poverty in our

country. Greater than 50% of Indian

menstruators which sums to around

200 million women, do not have

access to period care products or are

not keen on investing any money in

improving their MHM. State and central

Government initiatives are diverting

thousands of crores to improve the

current state of period poverty in India

but are we really experiencing a habit

shift? Is this a wicked problem like

world hunger that can't be solved? As

the founder of a new age period care

brand, I feel compelled to ask this

question to the readers. Please spare

10 mins of your valuable time for

those 7 years a menstruator spends

menstruating. Why are we not investing

in better period care alternatives?

But then the dilemma is if every

menstruator uses a sanitary pad and

maintains good health, then how much

sanitary waste India will generate each

year? Basic maths suggests 8400 crore

units of non-biodegradable sanitary

pads will get dumped into our water

bodies and ground each year which

will not decompose for 500-800 years.

Phew!! Isn't it better that Indian

women aren't investing in period care,

at least period poverty in the country

supports a healthier environment.

Let's stop evaluating this vicious cycle

and support the growth of our 350+mn

menstruators in the country and help

families understand the importance of

investing in sustainable period care.

For example, products like reusable

menstrual cups are one-time investment

products and can be used for up

to 10 years. Menstrual cups are popular

amongst young menstruators who

prefer affordable and sustainable alternatives

and are not hassled by exploring

their needs. For a no-stain period

experience, Reusable period underwear

is a must-have for all school and

college girls. Another sustainable period

care product that provides ultimate

comfort and is good to have for all is

chemical-free, certified organic &

100% biodegradable tampons.

Periods are important, and proper

menstrual health will ensure long-term

economic, physical, and mental

growth. Let's bring healthy inclusivity

and open conversation and luster back

to period care and provide muchdeserved

importance to period health

management. Invest in your young

ones and your period health today for

a brighter, healthier, and more confident

future.

Pregnant women at cancer risk via

dishware, hair colouring, plastics

New York : Pregnant women who are exposed

to chemicals like melamine, cyanuric acid, and

aromatic amines can have increased risk of cancer,

says a new study.

Melamine is found in dishware, plastics, flooring,

kitchen counters, and pesticides; cyanuric

acid is used as a disinfectant, plastic stabiliser,

and cleaning solvent in swimming pools; aromatic

amines are found in hair dye, mascara, tattoo

ink, paint, tobacco smoke, and diesel exhaust.

The study, published in the Chemosphere, indicated

that melamine and cyanuric acid were found

in nearly all study participants' samples, but the

highest levels were found in women of colour and

those with greater exposure to tobacco.

"These chemicals are of serious concern due to

their links to cancer and developmental toxicity,

yet they are not routinely monitored in the US,"

said researcher Tracey J. Woodruff from the

University of California, San Francisco.

People can be exposed to melamine and aromatic

amines in a variety of ways -- through the

air they breathe, by eating contaminated food or

ingesting household dust, as well as from drinking

water or by using products that contain plastic,

dyes, and pigments.

Melamine and its major byproduct, cyanuric

acid, are each high production chemicals that

exceed 100 million pounds per year in this country

alone.

When exposure to these chemicals happens

together, they can be more toxic than either one

alone.

For their study, the team measured 45 chemicals

associated with cancer and other risks using

new methods to capture chemicals or chemical

traces in urine samples from a small but diverse

group of 171 women.

The study period covered 2008 to 2020.

Prior studies on melamine were conducted

among pregnant women in Asian countries or limited

to non-pregnant people in the US.


22 01-09-2022 to 15-08-2022 NEWS

www.theasianindependent.co.uk

Will our institution stand and make

us feel proud owner of democracy

(Samaj Weekly)- The release of

the murderers and rapists who

were sentenced life imprisonment

in the #BilkisBanocase are now

out curtsy Gujarat government’s

decision of remission under a special

act to commemorate the

#AzadiKaAmritMahotsav. Some

days back, I wrote that if the government

really want the 75th birth

anniversary of #azadi then it

should think of releasing all those

who are undertrial and languishing

in various jails of India particularly

those who are political

undertrials but what we saw was

the goons and murderers who got

out and then garlanded as well as

sweets were distributed. Hindutva,

off late, has become showing its

agenda unambiguously and doing

things in brazenfaced manner. It

does not care for law, niceties and

anything. Law is Hindutva and

Hindutva is law in today’s time.

Nothing else matters. Right and

wrongs are now decided on purely

the basis whether you are with the

BJP or government side or not.

Many expressed outrage and

shock. Why are we shocked ?

Have not we seen a pattern in it

which has been followed since

2014. Remember the murderer of

Akhlaque in Noida when died in

the jail after an ailment, his body

was wrapped in the Tricolor. Dont

forget the murderers of brave

Police inspector Subodh Kumar

Singh got bail and were given a

rousing reception as well as BJP’s

ticket. Look at Komal Sharma

who along with others attacked

Vidya

Bhushan

Rawat

(Asian Independent)- The murder

of a child belonging the scheduled

caste community in Saraswati

Vidya Mandir school, Sayala, in district

Jalore is a crude reminder about

caste system and untouchability persisting

in our educational institutions

even after 75th year of independence.

This is utterly disgraceful

and outrageous. All the hoopla and

drama over our ‘greatness’ and

‘great’ ‘culture’ is exposed when we

see such brutalities in our society

and then its justification.

I have mentioned many time that

#castediscrimination and #untouchability

exists in India and they are

rampant. This is the only commonality

between north and South, East

and West and that is the violence

and contempt against Dalits.

The Rajasthan government must

act and send a strong message

against the culprit. It is not merely

the issue of filing case against the

culprit, Mr Ashok Gehlot must order

the students of JNU, Rambhakt

Gopal who fired at the student of

Jamia Milia protestors during anti

CAA-NRC protests and Nupur

Sharma, hate monger now under

police protection the story is clear

that the Hindutva rabble rousers

will get police protection and VIP

security such as Arnab Goswami,

Sudhir Chaudhary, Kangana

Ranaut all have got big security

jacket so that they can continue

with their hate propaganda.

The other side of the story is

#Bhimakoregaon accused are languishing

in Jail. 81 years old

Varavara Rao just got the bail after

three years of incarceration. 80

years old Jesuit priest Father Stan

Swamy died as an undertrial. All

other accused in the case are well

known authors, activists and

above 55-60 years of age yet no

mercy is shown to them. Prof G N

Sai Baba who suffers from physical

disability and needs someone

to assist him is now virtually

counting his days in the jails.

There seems to be a complete lack

of respect, sympathy and basic

humanity. Hatred has overpowered

us. Once upon a time, we

used to say win people from love

but now hatred has become part of

our culture and gone deep into our

heart so much that we have forgotten

that it will ultimately kill us.

You can also see how the state

has dealt with mob lynching cases.

Most of the time, it is the victims

who face victimisation. Where is

the Pahlu khan case ? Where is the

Jharkhand lynch mob case ? While

the state was active when Muslim

fanatic brutally murdered

Kanhaiya Lal, a tailor in Udaipur

and Rajasthan government was

quick to compensate his family

yet they remain silent on the gruesome

murder done by Shambhulal

a survey of all the schools, private,

government, Vidya Mandirs etc to

find out the number of SC-ST students

studying there and the treatment

meted out to them. Saraswati

Vidya Mandirs are normally RSS

affiliated school but

media has cunningly

hidden this fact

under the guise of a

‘private’ school. I am

not sure whether this Rajasthan

school is an RSS affiliate or not but

what is important is to take the

school administration to task. After

all, Chail Singh can not do it without

the knowledge of school administration.

A few days back, we had a case

from Uttar Pradesh when a junior

teacher in a Uttar Pradesh school

“Raigar to a Muslim man in 2017.

We dont even know the case status

and who knows Raigar might be

the Dalit face of Hindutva in the

coming years as happened in the

several cases related to

Kandhamal, Odisha.

Most of the convict in various

riots in Gujarat 2002 are now out

from various cases and enjoying

state patronage while valiant

fighters like Teesta Setalvad, R

Sreekumar and Sanjeev Bhat languish

in jails though Teesta’s petition

comes for hearing next week,

it is a fact that these people are not

murderers or hate mongers but

believed in Constitution and rule

of law yet they have been put in

jail by a vengeful government.

The selective use of law against

the activists, writers and human

rights defenders while providing

patronage to criminals, rapists and

murders just because they support

was abusing the woman principle

who happened to be a scheduled

caste which only

showed how caste mind

exists among us all. As

we approach our 75th

independence Day, we

will find that many

Dalit Sarpanches are not allowed to

hoist flag in various Panchayats in

Tamilnadu. That a Dalit in power

position is not accepted in all models

of India is purely racists and casteist.

Whether secular model or Hindutva

or Dravidian or left, India will have

the ruling dispensation is the new

low in the Indian political and

judicial system. The prime minister

wants to honor women while

claiming that India has now

arrived at the ‘world stage’ which

definitely is a welcome step but

where are we in the World democratic

index ? What is our status in

#happiness index? Look at our

number in #medical system ?

What about our #education system

and #ranking of our #colleges and

#universities ? Where are we in

terms of violence against #women

? What is our number in the

Global Hunger Index ? Our status

in the global media freedom index

? Where is our economy going ?

Can the government provide us

data related to jobs and employment

generation? The civil society

is already crumbling under the

heavy loads of rules and regulations

to control their activities and

finances. Media has already

become part and parcel of the

establishment. Our nation can not

become number one by just rhetoric.

It needs solid action and planning.

It needs robust institutions

and their autonomy. Jailing intellectuals

and activists while garlanding

rapists and murders will

not make the nation great. As a

society we need strength to accept

our diversity and dissent while

showing absolutely no tolerance

to crime of rape and murders. Let

us hope our institutions will stand

up for the rights of the people so

that our republic grows and we

feel proud of their actions.

Caste system and untouchability persisting in our educational

institutions even after 75TH YEAR OF INDEPENDENCE

By Vidya Bhushan Rawat

social and human rights activist

to show its commitment to eliminate

caste discrimination and untouchability

as without absolute

uprooting of these brutal

and violent practices, we

can not claim to have a

civilised society. Hiding

the facts from public or

purely ignoring the issue

will not help. Our national

will need to reflect on creating

an egalitarian social

order where the mind

remain without fear and every body

gets an opportunity to grow and participate

in our national life. It is not

a big deal and the #manuwadis need

to just think a bit, embrace #constitution

in real sense and become

#Manavwadis.


www.theasianindependent.co.uk

Rootz Global Community

Interest Company (CIC) was

formed on 9th April 2021.

Based in the West Midlands,

the company s main aim is

to connect South Asians

with their roots by creating

collaborative and partnership

opportunities. The

company s progenitor is

Birmingham based Onkar

Singh, his background is

reflective of vital skills,

honed education, and an

ardent belief to help young

people become more selfreliant

and confident

through training and development

whilst connecting

them with their roots

through arts, heritage, education

and other developmental

programmes and

activities.

The company was registered

during the tumultuous

global COVID-19 period.

According to Singh, It gave

me time to reflect on what I

really wanted to do, my

main purpose was to tackle

linguistic poverty that

exists around us, I also felt

that efforts to unite people

from all different backgrounds

especially the South

Asian diaspora was fundamental

to enriching our

shared culture and heritage

thus creating harmony and

peace.

Incidentally,

this type of work

is not new for

Onkar Singh, as

he has been

working with UK

communities for almost 20

years, and since his college

days, Singh had organised

and led on dozens of conferences,

seminars whilst

teaching Engineering and

Punjabi Language and

Literature at Masters level

in East Punjab.

On 12th August 2022,

Rootz Global organised a

Mushaira , an Urdu term

for a poetic symposium in

the Indian sub-continent at

which poets come together

to perform their works, traditionally

ghazals or poems.

This special mushaira was

held at the local banqueting

Suite in West Bromwich and

attracted almost 100 participants

including women as

well as young people and

others aged 50 plus.

The event united people

of all age groups from the

South Asian diaspora. The

artists included the following

from India and Pakistan.

Simran Aks, Sunil Sajal,

Tahira Sra and Sabir Ali.

The locals included

Husanbir Singh Pannu, a

Phd scholar at the

University of

Liverpool, specializing

in Artificial

Intelligence.

Simran Aks hails

from Barnala and is

professor of Punjabi

language whilst Sunil

Sajal is a phd scholar

in music. Tahira Sra

and Sabir Ali both

seasoned poets hail

from Pakistan

Punjab.

Remembering the

pain of separation

together.

Incidentally, this

NEWS

year also marks the 75-year

anniversary of partition of

the united Punjab in 1947,

with artists from both sides

of the Punjab symbolising a

yearning for progressiveness

in terms of sharing ideas,

thoughts, love, history,

social and cultures heritage

and even reflections on the

turbulent history including

conflicts that ensued.

Partition costed millions of

lives through communal

riots and massacres of civilians.

Indigenous people of

united Punjab became

refugees of their own land

and yet after 75 years, it is

efforts like Singh s initiative

and others, that can create

generational healing despite

the monumental suffering of

so many citizens who lost

both material possessions

and loved ones in the

01-09-2022 to 15-08-2022

ROOTZ GLOBAL CIC : SPECIAL PUNJABI

MUSHAIRA IN WEST BROMWICH

Glowing faces of

attendees reflect their

enthusiasm

Founder and Director of

Rootz Global Onkar Singh

hosting the programme.

Harminder Kaur

Bhogal, MA

process. Many have had to

rebuild their fate on both

sides of Punjab. The poetry

event reflected these

unimaginable suffering and

yearnings of a united land.

No doubt, these unifying

forces of poetic expressions

can act like an emollient for

millions.

The programme was compered

by Onkar Singh with

the closing remarks from

well-known Mota Singh

Sarai progenitor of Punjabi

Sath. Rajinder Jit Singh

also expounded on his poem

on unity whilst Rashpal

Kaur elucidated a story of a

woman who suffered abuse,

I wanted to give this lady a

voice through my poetry ,

she explained.

There were other thoughtprovoking

themes which

comprised of caste, humanity,

purpose in life, religious,

love, betrayal, hypocrisy and

inequalities. The spectacular

beauty of each artist, was his

or her linguistic dexterity,

contrasting artistic styles,

similes, vernaculars,

rhythms, sound, and lexical

richness as their emotions

evoked awareness, exhilaration

and introspection. One

felt intoxicated by the words

that each artist expounded

even though alcoholic drinks

were not available for consumption

at this historic

event, and rightly so .

Softly spoken Tahira Aks

hums, ki mein teri nayee

am I not yours? Sabir Ali

used an analogy of dogs in

comparison to the violent

nature of human beings.

Simran Aks pleaded,

ethethe hovo, te larho ,

come together and fight (for

justice). Sunil Sajal gave

renditions of Punjabi Poet

Laureate, Surjit Pattar; his

velvety voice melted the

hearts of many. And

Husanbir simply swayed the

audience with his dulcet

23

tones. The audiences marvelled

at the festivity of this

occasion and expressed satisfaction

of being able to

participate in this special

Mushaira. They were

undoubtedly, captivated by

the speakers and poets alike.

The event was hugely successful,

and credit goes to

the directors of Rootz

Global who not only at a

short notice organised such a

grand Mushaira, but set the

scene for a sustainable

future for the organisation.

Mota Singh Sarai, the

iconic voice of ‘Punjabi Sath’

making closing remarks.

Husanbir Singh’s soulful

music simply touched the

core of the heart.

Founder Director of Rootz

Global Onkar Singh compering

the programme.

Tabla Player, Jasjit Singh (left) and Sunil Sajal’s (right)

musical melodies mesmerised the audiences.

Tahira Sra (left) Sabir Ali (middle) & Simran Aks (right).

Photograph of the audiences (front view)

listening attentively


24 01-09-2022 to 15-08-2022 NEWS

www.theasianindependent.co.uk

40th anniversary of celebrations of

Shri Guru Ravidass Sabha (Vancouver)

Burnaby : “On behalf of Shri

Guru Ravidass Sabha (Vancouver),

it is my pleasure to congratulate

our members, supporters, and the

congregation on the 40th anniversary

of Shri Guru Ravidass

Sabha”, announced Bill Basra,

president of the organization.

“Forty years ago, our forefathers

developed a vision to provide a

forum to discuss matters of concern

and develop a spirit of brotherhood

and we are very grateful for

their wisdom and farsight”, said

Basra.

The Ravidassia community

started arriving in Canada and settling

on the west coast in 1906.

According to the records found

thus far, Mahmis were the first

family to arrive and their descendents

now live in Victoria and various

other parts of the lower mainland.

Shri Guru Ravidass Sabha

(Vancouver) was established in

1982. Among other social, educational,

and recreational activities,

the Sabha also operates a community

center and offers a place of

worship in accordance with the

teachings of Guru Ravidass, Dr.

Ambedkar, and other Gurus and

saints whose teachings are

enshrined in the Holy Book, Shri

Guru Granth Sahib Ji. The center

is located in Burnaby (BC) and is

integral part of the social fabric of

the city and the lower mainland.

To celebrate the fortieth

anniversary, the management of

Shri Guru Ravidass Sabha of

Vancouver plans to;

Host a sports tournament on

September 11.

Capture history and Ravidassia

heritage in a souvenir and documentary

video.

Honor and recognize families of

Ravidassia pioneers and founders

of the organization.

Re-construct a multi-purpose

complex to meet the growing and

evolving needs of its members,

congregation, and the wider community.

Community is invited to be

involved in the planning of these

events and participate in the celebrations.

Members are also invited

to submit photos or stories that

highlight the contribution of

founders and supporters over the

past forty years.

Special guest who attended the

press conference was Mr. Hari

Banga, Deputy Director (Retired),

Survey of India Mr. Banga

presently lives in Pittsburgh,

California. Organizers welcomed

Mr. Banga and honored him for his

community services.

FUGITIVE DIAMANTAIRE

Nirav Modi's HCL House

to be auctioned on Sep 23

Mumbai : The Debt Recovery

Tribunal-I (DRT-I) has ordered the

auction of a prime property belonging

to absconder diamantaire Nirav

D. Modi in one of the cases filed by

Punjab National Bank (PNB) to

recover a part of their whopping

dues of more than Rs 2,133-crore.

As per the Mumbai DRT-I's

order, HCL House in Marol shall be

put up for e-auction on September

23, with a reserve price of Rs 52

crore, against the massive amounts

outstanding since nearly five years

to the PNB and 15 more banks.

"Proclamation of sale under

Rules 38, 52(2) of the second

schedule to the Income Tax Act,

1961 read with the Recovery of

Debts Due to Banks and Financial

Institutions Act, 1993," said the

August 11 order by Recovery

Officer Ajeet Tripathi.

The case pertains to PNB plus 15

public and private sector banks versus

Nirav Modi's group company

Firestar International Ltd. and other

known or new entities from whom

the dues are recoverable.

The latest auction comes in the

recovery process initiated by various

banks after the infamous PNB

scam of over Rs 14,000 crore erupted

in the Indian banking sector in

February 2018 -- almost a month

after Modi, his wife Ami and others

fled the country (January 2018).

Following a complaint by the

PNB, the Central Bureau of

Investigation lodged the first

offences in January 2018, and other

agencies like Enforcement

Directorate, Income Tax

Department also got into the act,

chasing the two prime accused --

Modi, his maternal uncle Mehul

Choksi -- and many others including

bank officers.

The group companies of Firestar

International Ltd, include: Firestone

Trading Pvt. Ltd., Radashir

Jewellery Co. Ltd, and Paundra

Enterprises Pvt. Ltd. -- all three

located in a single office in Bharat

Diamond Bourse, Bandra east.

Some new entities have emerged

for the first time -- Bentley

Properties Pvt. Ltd., Mak Business

Enterprises Pvt. Ltd., ANM

Enterprises Pvt. Ltd., NDM

Enterprises Pvt. Ltd., besides the

Neeshal Trading Pvt. Ltd.

Curiously, all are shown as having a

common address at No. 15,

Nagindas Mansion in Opera House,

south Mumbai.

Firestar International's (Lower

Parel) Directors are Modi, Angelina

Nguyen and Haresh Vrajlal Shah,

while Modi is also a Director with

Radashir Jewelery (Bandra) along

with Hemant Dahyalal Bhatt.

The other companies' Directors,

with most featuring in one or more

entities, are: Ramesh M. Assar,

Ketan C. Solanki, Manish L. Dani,

and Paresh P. Rathod.

Till July 2022, various agencies

like the ED have attached Modi's

properties worth a little over Rs

2,650 crore as he fights extradition

proceedings in London, and certain

assets like bungalows, plots, factories,

luxury cars, expensive artworks,

etc., have been periodically

auctioned by various probe agencies

to recover part of the stupendous

dues to the banks.

Modi's uncle Choksi of the

Gitanjali Gems Group, also the

prime co-accused in the PNB bank

scam, is currently in Antigua &

Barbuda.

For the September 23 auction of

HCL House, the DRT-I has stipulated

a refundable EMD of Rs 5.20

crore with the property physical

verification of the property kept for

September 19, and the last date for

submitting EMD/Bids with an

incremental value of Rs 20 lakhs,

by September 21.

However, no details of revenue

assessed on part or the full property,

other liabilities, encumbrances or

claims on the asset are available.


www.theasianindependent.co.uk

(Samaj Weekly)- A young fiery

poet Pash Amber is the face of a questioning

mind, penning poem after

poem about nature, life, and its adversities,

along with sensitive poetry

steeped in empathy for the underprivileged

and exploited. He is on a poetic

odyssey, a crusade, and Bekhauf

Awaaz holds messages of freedom

between its pages.

In a country like ours where we

share a number of religious, cultural,

and political affiliations, there are

bound to be ideological differences.

Where there are differences there are

conflicts, struggles, and obstacles

leading to questions and rebellion. The

struggle is necessary for change and

striking a balance. Power keeps

changing hands and is a fickle mistress.

Pash raises questions, and digs

deep, exposing issues that the powerful

and privileged bury under dark layers

of corruption, away from the light

of truth.

The poems flow out as if they

belong there in his mouth, ingrained in

his breath. His words ring in my mind

long after I finish reading. He refuses

to be one of the herds, who cluck

tongues at injustice but never speak

up. His is a fearless forceful voice that

needs to be heard and heeded by the

multitudes.

Bekhauf Awaaz is a treasure of

astounding unflinching poems that jolt

the conscience of every right-thinking

person. It is my fervent hope that it

awakens the youth of our country, who

seem to be seeking greener pastures

beyond western shores.

He feels the whole gamut of emotions

dealing with social, cultural, psychological,

economic, historical, and

NEWS

motivational aspects of human needs.

At the same time, he questions politics

in today s scenario.

The stark and harsh reality of the

last lines in TALAASH -

ODYSSEY shook me .Look at the

whole wide world, a portrait of war

stares back at you.

In the poem DEMOCRATIC

BIRDS , the rebel challenges the

tyrants.

Birds have given up /

making nests / as an offering

/given up singing songs

of peace/ also, given up sipping

water / from the hands

of tyrants.

When he speaks with

tender sympathy for the

grief of all mankind, he

speaks of the human mix.

Among his many

laments are also poems

written during the historic

Farmer s Agitation.

ONWARDS TO THE

FRONT -Rise my countrymen/onwards

to the

front/for there they are/

taking over your

fields// ..Your selfpride,/self-esteem/badges

of honor/to what avail then?

Before the American

imperialist monster/tramples

your motherland/ roars there,/rush

to save your fields.

If our coming generations sleep

through this war, our lands will

become a sea of white dupattas wailing

in mourning.

01-09-2022 to 15-08-2022

REVIEW OF PASH AUJLA’S ‘BEKHAUF AWAAZ’

SL introduces 5-year

multiple entry tourist

VISA SCHEME

Colombo : In an effort to boost the tourism industry amid the

economic crisis, the Sri Lankan government on Tuesday said the

island nation has extended its multiple-entry tourist visa to five

years Tourism Minister Harin Fernando said that Sri Lanka now

offers one-year multiple entry visas, reports Xinhua news agency.

The country also issues single entry visas with a six-month stay

period. Fernandor said that the cabinet of ministers approved his

proposal on Monday.

"Cabinet agreed to extend five-year multiple entry tourist visas

for 35 countries to help boost repeat tourism in Sri Lanka. A tourist

can stay in Sri Lanka for six months in one stretch with this

scheme," he said.

The Minister said that the country had earlier offered a threemonth

"digital nomad" visa for tourists to attract foreigners

engaged in remote work.

The Minister said that tourism picked up in July and August

after the anti-government protests gradually fizzled.

He added that they expect 1 million tourists to arrive in Sri

Lanka in 2022.

"We expect $2 billion from tourism this year," he said.

25

A few lines from the poem

KAFILE - CARAVAN , translate so

to my mind.

Wars are kept waging/ while seasons

blister with raging/ mustard flowers

are still glowing/

in fields watered by eyes/where

tears keep flowing.

A voice pregnant with pathos is

raised against toxic patriarchy in the

poem,

‘AZAAD KUDIYAN’-

‘LIBERATED GIRLS’

The most liberated girls have been

imprisoned in cages/ ..all lively girls

annihilated by patriarchy/ .the

bravest terrorized by the frown of the

most cowardly man/ the fiery

feisty ones placed before ovens

smoulder inwardly.

Pash touches the lives of those

belonging to villages, small towns,

and sons and daughters of the soil. He

touches the heart of his motherland

and gives out a clarion call to free ourselves

from the fetters we are shackled

in.

I wish him a great future, and that

his coming publications are also as

outstanding and forceful as his maiden

venture.

The book itself is a beauty to hold

and behold. The cover is stunning and

the sword-like pen is a harbinger of

the contents within its pages. I congratulate

him as Bekhauf Awaaz ,

spreads his word, his courageous

voice!


26 01-09-2022 to 15-08-2022 WORLD

www.theasianindependent.co.uk

Mumbai riots: SC seeks Maha

response on compensation paid

to families of missing people

New Delhi : The Supreme

Court on Tuesday sought

response from the Maharashtra

government whether it has paid

compensation to legal heirs of

168 people, who were on the

missing list during the 1992-93

communal riots in Mumbai.

A bench of Justices Sanjay

Kishan Kaul, A.S. Oka and

Vikram Nath asked the state

government to clarify what it

meant by payment paid to heirs

of victims and asked it to file an

affidavit in 2 weeks. Taking

into consideration a chart

before it, the top court said 900

people had died in the violence

and 168 persons have gone

missing. It also asked the state

government to specify the time

lapse between the incident and

the payment of compensation,

and whether 168 people, on the

missing list, were included

among the 900 identified victims.

The bench further queried

the state government to bring

on record whether any compensation

was paid for the loss of

property, and also specify the

time lapse between the incident

and the payment of compensation.

It said after completion of

seven years, the families of

people who have gone missing

must get compensation. The

apex court was hearing a batch

of petitions in connection with

the payment of compensation

to the Mumbai riots victims.

A commission headed by

Justice B.N. Srikrishna, retired

Supreme Court judge, which

probed the Mumbai riots, had

'Social ramifications' notwithstanding:

SC seeks Centre's response on

reservation benefit extension

filed its report in 1998.

The apex court, in February

2020, had asked the

Maharashtra government to

apprise it on action taken

against the police officers

indicted by the commission.

The commission's report

indicted leaders of some political

parties and police officers.

A lawyer, appearing for one of

the petitioners before the top

court pressed for the implementation

of the recommendations

made in the commission's

report.

Delhi court issues fresh

summon to 'Kaali' filmmaker

Leena Manimekalai

New Delhi : A Delhi court

has issued a fresh summon to

filmmaker Leena Manimekalai

in a suit filed against the depiction

of Hindu goddess Kaali in

the poster of her controversial

film by the same name, video

and tweet "in a very uncalled

way".

Civil Judge Abhishek

Kumar of Tis Hazari Courts, in

an order dated August 29,

noted the submissions of plaintiff

Adv Raj Gaurav, in which

it was stated that an application

filed by him on the previous

date is pending for adjudication.

He also sought to serve the

notice to the defendants

(Manimekalai and others)

through e?-mail as well as

WhatsApp.

"In view of the submissions,

let summons be issued

afresh through all modes

including service through e-

?mail as well as Whatsapp,"

the judge ordered.

The matter will be next

heard on November 1.

Earlier in July, the court had

issued summons to

Manimekalai.

The plea moved by advocate

Raj Gaurav contended

that the poster of the film

depicts the goddess smoking,

which not only hurts the religious

sentiments of common

Hindus but is also against the

basics of morality and decency.

Apart from the filmmaker,

notices and summons were

also issued to her company,

Touring Talkies Media Private

Limited.

The controversy had escalated

after Trinamool Congress

MP Mahua Moitra had said

that she had every right as an

individual to imagine goddess

Kaali as a meat-eating and

alcohol-accepting deity, as

each person has his or her

unique way of offering

prayers.

New Delhi : The Supreme Court on Tuesday asked the Central

government to clarify its stand on whether reservation benefits

enjoyed by Scheduled Castes can be extended to Dalits after they

convert to Islam, Christianity, Buddhism or any religion apart

from Hinduism.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, representing the Centre, submitted

that the matter involves social ramifications.

A bench of Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul, Abhay S. Oka, and

Vikram Nath said the matter was not listed for a long time, and

"there are social ramifications, but we have to take a call".

The bench orally remarked that old matters are pending because

there are social ramifications.

"We will have to face reality some time or the other," it noted.

Some of the petitioners have contended that Dalit Christians or

Christians of Scheduled Caste origin should enjoy the same quota

benefits reserved for Scheduled Castes.

Advocate Prashant Bhushan, representing one of the petitioners,

submitted that earlier government had appointed Justice

Ranganath Misra Commission, which gave a very detailed report

on the issue and recommended Dalits, who convert to another religion,

should get reservation. However, Mehta said that "he missed

the point that the government of the day did not accept the recommendations

of the commission on the ground that they have not

taken into consideration several facts".

The top court asked the Central government to submit its

response in the matter in three weeks and scheduled the matter for

hearing in October. A petitioner has sought direction for reservation

for government jobs and admissions in educational institutions

should be made "religion neutral".

Citing the Constitution (Scheduled Castes) Order, 1950 restricts

Christians of Scheduled Caste origin from availing the Scheduled

Castes status, the petitioners have argued that this restriction was

against the fundamental right to equality, non-discrimination, and

religious freedom.

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