Anti-India Protest Ends in Anticlimax; Memories of Dilip Kumar

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Lord only knows: Nazir Ahmed, who still calls himself Lord Ahmed and has long made it his business to abuse India over Kashmir, now seems to stand discredited among his own supporters. A notice had been given for a demonstration he was to lead outside the Indian high commission this week. Three hundred were due to turn up, and the police made arrangements accordingly. About ten turned up. Nazir Ahmed had earlier been expelled from the Labour party. He then faced accusations in a rape trial that the judge ruled had been “sabotaged” by improper handling of the case by the prosecution.

The brightest star: The death of Dilip Kumar has been mourned widely amidst the Indian community in Britain. Most of the primary migrants from India came to Britain through the late fifties and the sixties – the period when Dilip Kumar was at his peak. Migrants clung to memories and took pains to organise screenings of the films of those times in cinema halls in Southall and in some other Indian areas. They clung to the world of Dilip Kumar and the cinema of his time emotionally and culturally. A large number of those migrants, now elderly and retired, connected to local radio stations to share memories around songs from Dilip Kumar films.​

Football fever reaches unlikely places: Not all roads lead to Wembley but all eyes it seems are on Wembley. On Wembley stadium that is, which sits as an island by way of Britain’s football Mecca within a larger Wembley that is home to Gujaratis and other migrants almost entirely foreign to the world of football. Gujaratis, those particularly of East African origin, do support their own football clubs, and have their eyes on the final on Sunday – who doesn’t. But the Gujarati world around the stadium is not celebrated for kicking a ball. However, it is looking forward to joining the rest for what everyone in Wembley and around is hoping will mean the Cup coming England’s way, after half a century or so.

Delays, and more delays: The Sanjay Bhandari extradition case seems headed nowhere in a hurry. Four days of hearing had been set aside in June, which now stands postponed to February 21 next year. And now, 13 days have been set aside for the hearing. So that after no one was ready with a case enough to argue over four days, both sides are now agreed to arguing a case more than six months down the line over a precise 13 days. A new charge of tax evasion has been added on. The prosecution said that may take another couple of days. But somehow it’s all been added up to a nice round figure of 13 days next year.

Cairn eyes overseas Indian assets, officials jumpy: Amidst some uncertainty over reports suggesting that a French court has ordered the seizure of Indian government property on an application by Cairn Energy, government officials and public sector undertaking staff posted around Europe are getting jumpy over property owned directly or indirectly by the Indian government that they use. The Cairn move comes after a tribunal in The Hague awarded it 1.7 billion dollars recovery from the Indian government that the government is contesting. Cairn has said it will launch legal moves around the world to seize Indian assets to recover the money. It has already made moves in the US, and now Indian officials in Europe are worried.

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