A Pakistani man convicted in March in a US court of conspiring with al-Qaida to bomb a shopping centre in Manchester should spend 30 years to life in prison, US prosecutors say. Abid Naseer, 29, poses an “extreme danger” to society given his “continued commitment” to cause mass casualties designed …Read More »
A deaf-mute Indian girl stranded in Pakistan for 13 years after wandering over one of the world’s most militarised borders arrived home on Monday to be reunited with the family she has identified from photographs. The story of Geeta, a Hindu woman in her early 20s, has captivated people in …Read More »
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi says he will seek to unravel one of his country’s most enduring mysteries surrounding the independence struggle, the latest salvo in a growing history war that could undermine the opposition Congress party.
The fate of Subhas Chandra Bose, leader of the Indian National Army which collaborated with the Japanese and Germans against the British in World War Two, has remained a riddle for seven decades.
Successive Indian governments have kept hundreds of files related to his death secret, saying the release of the information could prejudice relations with foreign nations, fuelling conspiracy theories about how he died.
Modi's decision this week to declassify all files on India's most enigmatic nationalist hero may finally end the controversy.
The findings could also embarrass India's most famous political dynasty, because of the role played by first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru in the aftermath of Bose's death.
Since trouncing the Nehru-Gandhi family's Congress party in a general election last year, Modi has chipped away at its grip on India's post-colonial history.
Modi's government has announced plans to change a museum set up to honour Nehru so it will reflect a wider range of leaders.
His government has also erased the names of Nehru and his descendants from government schemes, places and postage stamps.
At a meeting on Wednesday, Modi met Bose's relatives to tell them the files would be declassified from January onwards to coincide with his 119th birthday.
"By ending the speculation it will allow us to assess his full contribution to the independence movement," said Sidharth Nath Singh, a leader from Modi's Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), who met the Bose family.
The Indian government has officially said Bose died of burns when his aircraft crashed in Taiwan while he was on his way to Tokyo, three days after the end of World War Two.
Many Indians refuse to believe that. Some think he faked his own death to avoid capture, with reports saying he lived in the Soviet Union or in India disguised as a holy man.
A six-year inquiry headed by a Supreme Court judge found in 2006 that neither Taiwan nor the United States had any record of his plane crashing. It also found his supposed ashes in a shrine in Tokyo were those of a soldier.
Singh said the release of the files could embarrass Congress if they showed Nehru's government thought he was alive but did not want him to return to public life.
"The release of the files does have political ramifications, you can't ignore it," said Singh.
Nehru's government spied on Bose's family for two decades, suggesting it thought he may be alive, files declassified by West Bengal's government last month show.
Campaigners believe files held by the central government will provide greater clarity on his fate.
Congress veteran Mani Shankar Aiyar said the files will exonerate Nehru, and the reason they were kept secret is that they probably embarrass a foreign ally, but enough time has passed for it not to matter.
"The idea that they will embarrass Nehru is pure BJP fantasy," said Aiyar. About 200-300 files held by the prime minister's office, intelligence bureau and foreign ministry will be declassified, Singh said.
Bose campaigned against British colonial rule with Mahatma Gandhi for 20 years, but fell out with him because he believed non-violence would fail.
To millions of Indians, he was a patriot who took a heroic stance against British imperialism and who has failed to get sufficient recognition in independent India.
Bose escaped from house arrest in India in 1941 to travel to Germany, where he met Adolf Hitler and later boarded a German submarine bound for Japan.
Bose eventually arrived in Myanmar as the head of the Indian National Army, which fielded Indian troops drawn from prisoners of war taken by the Japanese.
The last known photograph of Bose shows him stepping off a plane in Vietnam, a day before his purported death. No photograph of his body or death certificate has been published.
Chandra Kumar Bose, a relative of the leader, welcomed Modi's decision to release the files."We do not know for sure what happened to him, but of the many theories the plane crash theory should be debunked," he said. "History should be rectified."
Author Anuj Dhar is the author of 'India's Biggest Cover-Up' and has long campaigned for the documents to be declassifed. Hear him explain the mystery here:Read More »
The morning the Pakistan earthquake struck 10 years ago, Nazish Naz had been reluctant to go to school, telling her elder sister the day felt cursed. Less than an hour after the 16-year-old left home, disaster struck. The 7.6 magnitude quake near the city of Muzaffarabad in the Pakistani administered …Read More »
A “depraved” Punjabi-origin care worker has been jailed for a decade after she was found guilty of sexually assaulting patients in her care – one of them 101 years old. Christina Sethi, from Devon, filmed herself assaulting three vulnerable patients at a care home in the town of Torquay before …Read More »
Asian Cricket Awards co-founders Baljit Rihal (Left) and Jas Jassal (Right) with Culture Secretary Sajid Javed.
The General Election has, unsurprisingly enough, coloured any and all manner of conversations in Britain over the past few weeks.
So it’s unsurprising that twin issues that have dominated political discourse in the run up to 7 May – those being ethnic minority communities and integration - have seeped into the world of cricket.
The 2015 edition of the Asian Cricket Awards was launched at Lord’s this week and discussions quickly turned to the importance and relevance of a separate awards ceremony which celebrates Asians in English cricket.
Launched in 2014, the event is part of a wider effort – which includes numerous programs by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) – to ultimately reflect Britain’s diversity in its various cricket teams: akin to the so-called Black and Ethnic Minority manifestos and other initiatives undertaken by the UK’s various political parties.
Sport, unlike politics, delivers more often than not and the ACA has done more than its share in galvanizing Britain’s South Asian communities to make their voices heard.
It’s a “journey” as the ECB describes that is already beginning to pay dividends not least by honouring those helping to uplift cricket at a grassroots level among British Asian communities across the country – by way of honours such as the ‘Grassroots’, ‘Behind the Scenes’ and ‘Inspiration’ Awards.
The 2015 Awards also features the ECB-sponsored Diversity Project Award, which honours the work done by county cricket clubs to engage with their local British Asian community.
The hope is that that engagement will eventually lead to more young British Asian talent in county cricket and ultimately in the UK’s national squads.
As Baljit Rihal, co-founder of the Awards, told the UKAsian: “The hope is that in ten year’s time, we won’t need an Asian Cricket Awards”.Read More »
‘Dabbang’ star Salman Khan faces ten years in jail this week if he is convicted of drunkenly driving over a group of homeless men in Mumbai 12 years ago, killing one of them. Khan is accused of losing control of his SUV after a night of drinking rum and cocktails …Read More »
An Indian-origin woman in Indiana has been found guilty of feticide and child neglect after she was convicted of using abortion drugs to terminate her pregnancy. Purvi Patel, 33, is facing up to 70 years in prison for both charges under Indiana’s strict feticide and child neglect. Prosecutors said that …Read More »
Support for far-right organizations such as the British National Party (BNP) and the English Defence League (EDL) is at its lowest for two decades despite factors such as Islamic Extremism dominating the news and the on-going debate about immigration, according to campaign group Hope Not Hate. In its annual report, Hope …Read More »
#Outrageous: Pakistani court setences Geo News owner (and Veena Malik) to 26 years in prison for ‘Blasphemy’
The owner of Pakistan’s largest media group has been handed a 26-year jail term after he was found guilty of blasphemy, reports say. Mir Shakeel-ur-Rehman, owner of Geo News, was sentenced by an ‘anti-terror’ court in Gilgit, northern Pakistan on Tuesday after the TV station aired a broadcast showing people …Read More »