British Army used 10 year old Indian Children in World War 1 – India


25 oct 2015

Dr Sanjay Kumar Cardiac Surgeon

Dr Sanjay Kumar Cardiac Surgeon

File photo of Indian soldiers at a camp in Marseilles, France.

LONDON:  Britain’s World War I Army included Indian children as young as 10-years-old fighting against the Germans on the western front, according to a new book on the role of Indian soldiers in the Great War.

The youngsters were shipped over to France from the far reaches of the British Empire to carry out support roles, but were so close to the front line that many were wounded and admitted to hospital, according to ‘For King and Another Country: Indian Soldiers on the Western Front 1914-18’.

The account by writer and historian Shrabani Basu is based on official papers at the National Archives and British Library.

Some of the Indian children, including a 10-year-old “bellows blower”, and two grooms, both 12, provided support to cavalry regiments, a ‘Sunday Times’ report said.

One of the youngest boys involved in direct combat was a “brave little Gurkha” called Pim, 16, who was given an award for valour by Queen Mary while he was recuperating in hospital in Brighton.

Ms Basu believes many of the children came from poor families and that they would have lied about their age at recruitment offices in India, where they were encouraged to sign up for a monthly salary of Rs. 11.

“In the case of a 10-year-old, it should have been pretty obvious that they were underage,” she told the newspaper.

This embarrassment was shared by some British officials. In one dispatch to Lord Kitchener, secretary of state for war, Sir Walter Lawrence, a civil servant tasked with overseeing injured Indian troops, wrote: “It seems a great pity that children should have been allowed to come to Europe.”

About 1.5 million Indian soldiers fought for Britain in the First World War, with a handful being awarded the Victoria Cross bravery medal.

Ms Basu’s book, to be published by Bloomsbury on November 5, also reveals that British nurses were barred from treating Indian soldiers in war hospitals and were allowed only to supervise orderlies, leading to claims of discrimination.

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1 in 5 women in Britain UK faces sexual violence – India


21 march 2015

In January 2013, the Ministry of Justice (MoJ), Office for National Statistics (ONS) and Home Office released its first ever joint Official Statistics bulletin on sexual violence, entitled An Overview of Sexual Offending in England and Wales.

It reported that:

  • Approximately 85,000 women are raped on average in England and Wales every year
  • Over 400,000 women are sexually assaulted each year
  • 1 in 5 women (aged 16 – 59) has experienced some form of sexual violence since the age of 16.

On 8 March 2012 the government launched an updated action plan to tackle all aspects of violence against women and girls.

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Nirbhaya’s friend, who was with her on the fateful night, calls ‘India’s Daughter’ a fake British film – India


10 mar 2015

Nirbhaya’s friend, who was with her on the fateful night, calls ‘India’s Daughter’ a fake film

New Delhi: While the British filmmaker Leslee Udwin claims that her documentary on the horrific Nirbhaya gangrape and murder case, ‘India’s Daughter’, accurately depicts what happened on the night of December 16, 2012, the sole witness to the barbaric assault on the 23-year-old woman called the film “fake”.

Backing the Central government’s decision to ban ‘India’s Daughter’ featuring the interview of one of the convicts, Mukesh Singh who blames girls for rape and not men, Nirbhaya’s friend Avanindra Pandey speaking exclusively to IBNLive accused Leslee Udwin of insensitively handling the issue.

“The documentary is unbalanced as the victim’s viewpoint is missing. The facts are hidden and the content is fake. Only Jyoti and I know what happened on that night and the documentary is far from truth,” says Avanindra Pandey who fought with the rapists and murderers to save her friend but was overpowered and beaten up brutally.

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Indian-American Surgeon on a Mission to Save Lives on Indian – India


16  feb 2015

WASHINGTON:  An Indian-American surgeon is on a mission to save thousands of lives that are lost on Indian roads every day with an innovative training programme for trauma first responders using a $200,000 simulator dummy.

Rajasthan University educated surgeon Dr Dinesh Vyas, an assistant professor in the Department of Surgery at Michigan State University since 2011, estimates that the number of road deaths in India would in 10 years swell four times from current 1,000 a day.
“It’s a shameful figure for me as a physician,” he told IANS in an email interview outlining his strategy that could easily save at least half of the road accident victims, most of whom are sole earning members of their families.

“I can change the trauma situation with my existing team of 40 US surgeons and 50 Indian faculty members in the next four years,” said Mr Vyas.

He visits India four times a year to build up collaboration across the country to make it a self-sustaining process.
Most of Mr Vyas’s team is made up of surgeons and researchers of Indian origin settled in the US and the UK.
They have also formed an Indian American Surgeons Association with close to 1,000 members many of whom are interested in the cause of trauma care.
His team is also in touch with state governments in several states including Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Rajasthan and Telangana, 15 medical schools and NITI Ayog to extend the programme across India.
“We plan to start at least 50 centres across India each costing $700,000 with roughly two centres in every state,” said Dinesh Vyas whose team has trained more than 400 people in the last four months.
“We add at least 100 every month from our three centres – AIIMS, Jodhpur, Dr SN medical College, Jodhpur, MG Medical University, Jaipur.”
Starting cost of the programme is at least $20,000. “Most of it is borne by me and the host institute bears some cost of logistics,” Mr Vyas said.
“We take the simulators on loan at this point from the company at a subsidised rate to keep cost down for the initial phase,” he added.
Some leading corporate houses have also shown interest in the project, he said. His team is also trying to raise money through the CSR funds of foundations interested in Indian road safety or health needs.
“It gives a unique opportunity to NRI academic surgeons to pull together, central and state governments, with various private and government medical schools contributing and building a system for trauma care,” he said.
“Our research team has improvised the programme over the last 7-8 years with more than 20 visits to India and other countries to design the programme and curriculum,” said Mr Vyas.
The programmes are largely conducted in native language with sophisticated simulator dummies and other equipment and educational videos followed by question- answer and video debriefing sessions to enable all trainees to learn from their and others’ mistakes.
Another key feature is that it’s a “Trainer-Trainee programme: meaning we train both trainers and trainees during our visit and observe local trainers educate more trainees,” Dinesh Vyas said.
“This helps us to identify the most involved, thoughtful, articulate and critical trainers to run and build a sustainable, high quality, motivated programme,” he said.
Later, the team stays engaged with the local trainers providing support through video conferences.
In addition, a pioneer free multi-lingual Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) for first responders has been designed to reach out to millions of students in all Indian languages through the internet using edcast.com .
Run by a faculty of all dialect speakers from India recruited with the help of the Asian Studies Centre at Michigan State University, “This programme will train and educate people who cannot join the training centres we are starting in India,” Mr Vyas said.
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In Sweden, the Land of the Open Door, Anti-Muslim Fervor Finds a Foothold – India


3  jan 2014

In Sweden, the Land of the Open Door, Anti-Muslim Fervor Finds a Foothold

In Sweden, the Land of the Open Door, Anti-Muslim Fervor Finds a Foothold

Fatima Haddi looks at paper hearts left as gestures of solidarity outside the mosque where her family worshiped, which was burned on Christmas day in a suspected arson attack, in Eskilstuna, Sweden.

ESKILSTUNA, SWEDEN:  As Khalif Samantar knelt for afternoon prayers at the Eskilstuna Islamic Dawa Center on Christmas Day, he sensed a growing heat and a low, rushing sound coming from a nearby hallway. He focused his mind on the ritual, only to realize seconds later that someone was shouting, “The mosque is on fire!”

Samantar sprang through an open window and rushed through the snow in his stocking feet for help. Although about 70 people were inside the mosque at the time, no one was injured.

The fire, which gutted the Dawa center, was the worst of three suspected arson attacks on mosques in Sweden over the last 10 days. In the same period, two freighters bearing hundreds of asylum seekers were abandoned by their crew off the coast of Italy, adding to a surge of more than 200,000 migrants to Europe in 2014.

“We left our country as refugees. We were not looking for food or benefits. We were looking for somewhere to feel safe,” said Abdirahman Farah Warsame, the imam at the mosque where the fire occurred. He is originally from Somalia. “Now that is gone. We have a feeling that society is turning against us.”

Indeed, the relentless stream of migrants to Europe – propelled by the war in Syria and turmoil across the Middle East and the Horn of Africa – has combined with economic troubles and a rising fear of Islamic radicalism to fuel a backlash against immigrants, directed most viciously at Muslims.

The simmering resentments and suspicions have driven debates across Europe about tighter controls on immigration. Worries about immigration have helped buoy right-wing parties in Britain, Denmark, France and Hungary. German officials recorded more than 70 attacks against mosques from 2012 to 2014, including an arson, and the police in Britain have recorded an increase in hate crimes against Muslims.

Even so, there are few places where the turn against immigrants is more surprising than Sweden, where a solid core of citizens still supports the 65-year-old open door policy toward immigrants facing hardship that has long earned international respect for the country.

On Friday, hundreds of Swedes gathered outside the royal palace in Stockholm and in other cities to show solidarity with the Muslim population a day after an unknown assailant threw a bottle filled with flammable liquid at a mosque in the northern city of Uppsala and sprayed racist slogans on the building. The firebomb caused no injuries and did not damage the building.

But as each day brings more reports of immigrants who have boarded ships and sneaked across European borders, the famous tolerance of the Swedes is being tested as never before.

Despite a lackluster economy, Sweden was third behind only Germany and France in the number of people registering for asylum in 2012, according to the Migration Policy Institute in Washington. Relative to its population, Sweden received the second-highest share of asylum applications in the European Union after Malta, the institute says.

The Syrian conflict has boosted the number of asylum seekers. Of 81,000 people seeking asylum in Sweden in 2014, roughly half were from Syria, the Swedish Migration Board said.

Opposition to the rising numbers is growing. The far-right, anti-immigrant Sweden Democrats had their best showing ever – nearly 13 percent of votes – in elections in September.

The entry of the Sweden Democrats to parliament in 2010 had already opened the door for a previously unthinkable discussion about turning back the country’s policy of taking in foreigners on humanitarian grounds and granting them access to the country’s generous welfare system.

Adrian Groglopo, a professor of social science at the University of Gothenburg, has studied discrimination in Sweden over the past decade. He said that Sweden has long been a racially segregated country where many immigrants live in ghettos and struggle to find jobs but that the success of the Sweden Democrats has made racism more socially acceptable.

“It is a very difficult time in Sweden,” Groglopo said. “Now we can talk about things that we weren’t allowed to talk about before. It is a kind of coup d’etat.”

Last month, the Sweden Democrats threatened to bring down Prime Minister Stefan Lofven’s minority government. Early elections were averted only through a last-minute deal that observers say granted the anti-immigrant party even more power by pulling it from the sidelines and making it the primary opposition.

The party’s growth has occurred even though roughly a fifth of Sweden’s 9.6 million people were born abroad or to immigrant parents in Sweden. Most immigrants here have access to education, but government figures show a disproportionate unemployment rate for them, more than twice the national rate of about 8 percent. The disparity helped fuel riots in immigrant neighborhoods outside Stockholm in 2013.

In Germany, another anti-immigrant movement is underway. In recent weeks, a group calling itself the Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamization of the West has attracted as many as 17,500 people to rallies that demand stifling of immigration. The group has called for more rallies Monday, in Dresden and Cologne.

Omar Mustafa, president of the Islamic Association of Sweden, which represents about 40 communities across the country, said the recent fires at mosques were the culmination of a year of rising anti-Islamic attacks, from women having their hijabs, or head coverings, pulled off in the streets to the vandalism of 14 mosques, as well as racist or anti-Muslim vitriol spread through social media.

“It is a scary development in Swedish society,” Mustafa said in a telephone interview. “It is a big movement that is moving from the Internet to the real world.”

Vandals broke windows in the mosque in Eskilstuna twice last year and twice in 2013. But Warsame, the imam, said the mosque – located in a ground-floor storefront in a residential area of largely immigrants – had good relationships with its neighbors and the city officials.

When people nearby complained about the disturbance of comings and goings for late-night prayers during Ramadan, Warsame and the leaders of two other mosques with similar problems sought out a remote location for their holiday ritual.

No arrests have been made in the Christmas Day blaze that gutted the mosque in Eskilstuna, or the Dec. 29 fire at a mosque in Eskov or the attack in Uppsala. In response, the national police have tightened security at mosques and other religious buildings across the country.

The fire in Eskilstuna prompted an outpouring of support for the congregation, including an event in which dozens of people pasted handmade, heart-shaped notes to the boarded-up windows of the mosque in what they called a “love bomb.” The event was organized by an activist group known as Tillsammans for Eskilstuna, or Together for Eskilstuna. Despite the support, members of the mosque said they remained rattled.

Samantar, who is originally from Somalia, said he struggles to get through his prayers without smelling smoke or hearing the rush of a fire. After he escaped that day, he said, he feared that women and children were trapped in other rooms of the burning building, and anxiety haunts him still, even in his sleep.

“We would always take our families with us to the mosque,” said Samantar, a father of three. “The mosque was always our safe place. It’s not anymore.”

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Maneka Gandhi – Indra Gandhi’s daughter in law and sister in law of Sonia Gandhi


1 jan 2015

Maneka Gandhi  – Indra Gandhi’s daughter in law and sister in law of Sonia Gandhi.

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60 Militants waiting to cross Over from Pakistan to India as Pakistan violates ceasefire


1 jan 2015

’50-60 Militants Waiting to Cross Over,’ Says Border Security Force as Pakistan Violates Ceasefire

'50-60 Militants Waiting to Cross Over,' Says Border Security Force as Pakistan Violates Ceasefire

Pakistan targeted Indian posts

JAMMU:  Pakistani forces violated the ceasefire for the third time in two days as they targeted 12 Indian posts overnight along the International Border in Jammu and Kashmir. This was hours after an Indian jawan and four Pakistani soldiers were killed in firing between the two sides.

“Pakistan does not like to stay quiet even on New Year day. They started (cross-border) firing at 12.30 pm and don’t seem to learn (any) lesson,”  Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar said today. On Tuesday, he said the Indian Army would retaliate with “double the force” to any ceasefire violation by Pakistan.

“We will lodge a protest against the ceasefire violations,” Rakesh Sharma, a senior officer of the Border Security Force (BSF) said today. He said the firing by Pakistan was an attempt to provide cover fire for

50-60 militants waiting to cross over, and also to “internationalise the Kashmir issue.”

A civilian was injured in mortar shelling by Pakistani troops through the night in Samba district, 41 km from Jammu.

Pakistan had on Wednesday evening summoned the Indian envoy in Islamabad to register protest after four of its rangers were killed in retaliatory fire by India. A BSF jawan was killed earlier when Pakistani Rangers fired on a patrol party.

Indian troops stopped firing when the Rangers raised a white flag, asking for time to remove the bodies.

“Pakistan should not have done this. If Pakistan challenges us at the border, our army and BSF will give a fitting reply,” Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh said today.

Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif today asked National Security Advisor Sartaz Aziz to raise the issue of cross-border firing with New Delhi.

Cross-border violence has, in recent months, been the worst in over a decade. In October, at least 20 civilians were killed on both sides. The worst violence was in the Kashmir Valley in early December, when terrorists killed 11 Indian soldiers and police in the middle of elections in the state.

India summoned Pakistani High Commissioner Abdul Basit earlier this week to protest against the possibility of 26/11 mastermind Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi walking free.

Lakhvi, who was arrested in 2009 for orchestrating the Mumbai attacks, was granted bail by a Pakistani court on December 18, drawing strong condemnation from New Delhi. Pakistan this week arrested him in another case, ensuring that he remains in jail for now. Pakistan had said it will appeal against his bail in the Supreme Court.

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UK Indian-Origin Magistrate loses job after his AK-47 Photo on visit to India


1  jan  2015

UK Indian-Origin Magistrate Loses Job After AK-47 Photo

UK Indian-Origin Magistrate Loses Job After AK-47 Photo

LONDON:  An Indian-origin former councillor of Derby City in Britain has been stripped of his role as a magistrate after a probe found that he had “brought disrepute to the magistracy” by being photographed holding an AK-47 rifle during a visit to India.

The photograph of Ajit Atwal, who used to represent the Liberal Democrats on the Derby City Council, was taken while he was on holiday in India last year.

In April, Atwal, originally from Punjab, apologised but was still suspended as a magistrate.

The Judicial Conduct Investigations Office said his behaviour “amounted to serious misconduct”.

Labour colleagues in Derby made calls for Atwal to resign as a councillor when the photo appeared in a national newspaper in March.

Later, he apologised if he had “caused anyone any alarm or distress” but refused to resign as a magistrate.

Atwal lost his other role as a councillor in May’s local elections.

A spokesperson for the Judicial Conduct Investigations Office said, “Mr Ajit Singh Atwal JP, a Magistrate assigned to the Derbyshire Bench, uploaded photographs of himself holding an automatic weapon, which is illegal in the UK, on his Twitter account”.

“The photographs were deemed by a conduct panel to have brought the magistracy into disrepute. The Lord Chancellor and the Lord Chief Justice concluded that this behaviour amounted to serious misconduct and have removed Mr Atwal from the magistracy,” he said. Atwal has yet to comment.

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Shrien Dewani acquitted of murdering wife on South African honeymoon 2010 – India


08  dec 2014

South African Judge Acquits Shrien Dewani of Murdering Wife During 2010 Honeymoon

South African Judge Acquits Shrien Dewani of Murdering Wife During 2010 Honeymoon

British businessman Shrien Dewani appears in the high court in Cape Town. (Associated Press)

JOHANNESBURG:  A British man accused of killing his wife while they were on honeymoon in Cape Town was acquitted of murder on Monday after a South African judge concluded that the prosecution’s case did not have sufficient evidence.

Shrien Dewani promptly descended stairs leading out of the courtroom following the not guilty ruling by Cape Town High Court Judge Jeanette Traverso. His immediate whereabouts were not known.

Traverso delivered the ruling after deliberating for two weeks on arguments by Dewani’s lawyers that the case should be dismissed due to a lack of evidence. She said the prosecution’s case did not meet judicial standards requiring reasonable and probable cause to believe that the accused was guilty.

“In my view, the evidence presented in this case falls far below this threshold,” Traverso said. “The accused is found not guilty on this charge.”

Dewani had been accused of arranging the murder of his wife Anni in 2010. He had said she was killed during a botched carjacking.

The state’s key witness, Zola Tongo, had said Dewani paid him to hire two men to carry out the murder. Traverso, however, said Tongo’s testimony was riddled with contradictions.

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UK Judge Quits After Racial Slur on Indian-Origin Woman – India


07  dec 2014

UK Judge Quits After Racial Slur on Indian-Origin Woman

LONDON:  A senior judge in Britain has been forced to quit his job after allegedly making a racist remark about an Indian-origin woman while hearing a harassment case involving the woman’s ex-boyfriend.

“With a name like Patel she can only be working in a corner shop or off licence,” said District Judge Peter Hollingworth after being told a prosecution team could not bring forward the case against Parvan Singh, accused of threatening Deepa Patel, as the victim was not in court, The Daily Mail reported Sunday.

“She won’t be working anywhere important,” he was quoted as saying.

The “inappropriate comments” of Judge Hollingworth were reported to HM Courts and Tribunals Service after which he resigned as a deputy district judge. However, he remains an immigration judge with the Asylum and Tribunal Services.

“It’s shocking and disgusting for anyone to say that, especially a judge…You would assume people of this day and age, especially a judge, wouldn’t be racist,” Patel was quoted as saying.

She said it was “outrageous” that Hollingworth was still an immigration judge. “He needs to resign altogether,” she said.

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