Diamond heiress becomes nun
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(Left) Devanshi Sanghvi, 8, embracing Jain monkhood.
(Above) Showering rice grain on her father during a ceremony.
REPORT ON PAGE 3
SINGAPORE, WEEKEND OF FRIDAY,
JANUARY 20, 2023
CRUISE SOLD OUT
TILL APRIL 2024
MCI (P) 079/10/2022
Oxfam reports ‘obscene’ wealth
inequality in India
India’s top 1% owned more than
40.5% of its total wealth in 2021,
according to a new report by Oxfam.
In 2022, the number of billionaires
in the country increased to 166 from
from 102 in 2020. The report also said
the poor in India “are unable to afford
even basic necessities to survive”.
The charity called on India’s finance
minister to levy a wealth tax on the
ultra-rich to tackle this “obscene”
India overtakes China as world’s
India may have already surpassed
China as the world’s most-populous
nation. The South Asian nation’s
population stood at 1.417 billion as of
end 2022, according to estimates from
the World Population Review, an
independent organisation focused on
census and demographics.
That’s a little over 5 million more
than the 1.412 billion reported by
China on Tuesday when authorities
there announced the first decline since
Indian salaries set for 15-30% hike
Indian employees are set for Asia’s
biggest pay increases this year, with
top talents earning as much as 15-30
per cent more, according to a survey
by Korn Ferry.
On average, pay in the South Asian
nation will increase by 9.8 per cent in
2023 after a 9.4 per cent bump last
year, the consulting firm said in a
report. High-tech industries, life
sciences and healthcare lead the pack
with jumps of more than 10 per cent.
Man gored to death at Jallikattu
At least one person was gored to death
and dozens more were injured during
Jallikattu, a controversial bull-taming
competition in Tamil Nadu. The man
in his 20s was a participant and
succumbed to injuries inflicted during
the contest in Madurai district.
A total of 31 people were wounded
at the event, according to district
India Today reported on Saturday
that at least another 15 people were
injured at a separate bull-taming event
in neighbouring Andhra Pradesh.
Jet Airways aircraft seized
Local authorities in Mumbai seized
four aircraft belonging to Jet Airways
for non-payment of gratuity dues,
CNBC-TV18 reported on Tuesday.
The Mumbai district administration
seized the planes after an authorised
representative from the carrier’s
monitoring panel defaulted on dues of
Rs960,000 rupees ($15,559) plus 10
per cent interest.
India’s national company law
tribunal has allowed the ownership of
Jet Airways to be transferred to a
consortium, led by UAE-based
businessman Murari Lal Jalan and
London-based Kalrock Capital,
IndiGo sees ‘huge pent up
demand’ for domestic travel
IndiGo airline sees “huge pent-up
demand” for domestic travel in India
and increasing interest in flying
abroad, its finance chief said on
“Overall, we are seeing huge
pent-up demand coming in because
post-Covid, everybody wants to travel.
It’s not just domestic traffic, which is
huge, but we are also seeing a lot of
demand from people wanting to go
abroad,” Mr Riyaz Peermohamed told
the Airline Economics conference in
India’s oldest pending case settled
after 72 years
The Calcutta High Court, India’s old-
est high court, has disposed of the
country’s oldest pending case after 72
years in yet another example of delays
that plague the Indian judicial system.
Chief Justice Prakash Shrivastava
was born a decade after the case was
filed in 1951, reported Times Of India.
The case pertained to the liquidation
of the erstwhile Berhampore Bank.
The court is still hearing two other
oldest-pending cases, filed in 1952.
Rodents invade Puri shrine
Hordes of rats and coackroaches have
entered Puri’s famous Jagganath
temple and are nibbling at the attires
of the idols.
Times Of India reported that the
temple officials were worried about
the situation and raised an alarm
because the idols are made of wood.
“Rats are spoiling the faces of
deities and it is becoming very difficult
to perform rituals amid the rodents
and their waste,” said an official.
“They are destroying the deities’
attires, garlands and other things.”
Last Nizam of Hyderabad dies in
Mir Barkat Ali Khan, popularly known
as Prince Mukarram Jah Bahadur, the
eighth Nizam of Hyderabad, died in
Istanbul last Saturday. He was 89.
According to senior journalist and
columnist Mir Ayub Ali Khan, Prince
Mukarram Jah was designated the
titular head of the Asaf Jahi dynasty
on June 14, 1954, by his grandfather.
“Since then, he was identified as
the eighth and last Nizam of
Hyderabad. His succession was
recognised in principle by the
Government of India,” said Mr Ayub.
“He was officially called the Prince
of Hyderabad until 1971 when the
titles and the privy purses were
abolished by the Indian Union.”
The prince leaves behind four wives
and five children.
Retired major held for running
over woman feeding dogs
A retired army major was arrested on
Monday in Mohali, a city in Punjab,
for allegedly speeding in his SUV and
hitting a 25-year-old woman, leaving
her grievously wounded. She was
feeding stray dogs by the roadside
when she was hit.
Police identified the man at the
wheel of the vehicle that hit
architecture student Tejashwita
Kaushal as 40-year-old Maj (retd)
Closed-circuit television footage
showed the vehicle knocking down
Tejashwita and speeding away. As she
lies bloodied on the road, her mother
screams for help. A passer-by called
the police control room and she was
taken to the hospital.
Lucknow man cheated of Rs1.49
lakhs in call to customer service
A man in Lucknow was allegedly
duped of Rs1.49 lakhs ($2,413) in an
online fraud when he dialled the
customer care number to find out
about a cancelled flight.
Mr Amit Gupta was told to
download Anydesk app on his mobile
phone. He was then asked to respond
to some details. A short while later,
the money was deducted from his
The man later lodged a police
report and investigations are ongoing.
Women’s IPL media rights sold for
India’s cricket board has sold the
media rights for the Women’s Indian
Premier League for US$116.7 million
($154m) to Viacom18 for the next five
The rights for the men’s IPL sold for
US$6.2 billion for five seasons last
year. Media giant Viacom18 bought
the streaming rights.
Ms Aleida Guevara, daughter of
Cuban revolutionary Ernesto “Che”
Guevara, greeting a child at an event
organised by Communist Party of
India (Marxist) and National
Committee for Solidarity in Chennai
The medical professional and
human rights advocate, who is touring
India on behalf of the Federation of
Cuban Women, is the oldest of four
children born to Guevara and his
second wife, Aleida March.
Guevara was an Argentinian
Marxist revolutionary and major figure
of the Cuban Revolution. His stylised
visage has become a ubiquitous
counter-cultural symbol of rebellion.
Ms Aleida, 62, who is based at the
William Soler Children’s Hospital in
Havana, said the Cuban revolution
triggered another revolution within the
country – emancipation of women.
Cuban women are active in the
country’s decision-making, she added.
Their representation in the National
Assembly of People’s Power, Cuba’s
national legislature, is 52 per cent.
Che Guevara’s daughter attends Marxist party events in Chennai
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Wong Wei Kong
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– Witness to
An eight-year-old Indian girl, who
stood to inherit a multi-million-dollar
diamond fortune, has instead been
inducted as a nun to a strict religious
order after renouncing worldly plea-
Devanshi Sanghvi was, until this
week, an heiress to the Sanghvi And
Sons jewellery business in Surat,
known as Gujarat’s “Diamond City”
for its prominence in the global gem
Her family members belong to the
Jain faith, a small but ancient Indian
religion that preaches non-violence,
strict vegetarianism and love for all
creatures great and small.
This week, Devanshi was feted in a
four-day ceremony to herald her new
vocation, which at one point saw her
ride a carriage pulled by an elephant.
In a photo that has gone viral,
Devanshi, dressed in a pink dress, pays
tributes to her parents by showering
rice grain on them.
It is a symbol of gratitude for giving
birth to her and raising her in accor-
dance with principles held sacred by
Jainism and to finally allow her to
embrace monkhood and follow the
path prescribed by Jain tirthankaras.
On Wednesday, she arrived at a
temple to trade her elaborate garments
for a simple white cotton outfit, after
having all her hair shorn.
In another photo that has gone
viral, Devanshi, after completing her
initiation rituals, can be seen in a
white dress, an archetype attire of Jain
monks, and with a big smile.
After embracing monkhood, she is
known as Sadhvi Diganthprag-
Sadhvi was known among members
of Surat’s Jain community for her
piousness even as a young child, ac-
cording to a witness to Wednesday’s
“Devanshi has never watched televi-
sion, movies or gone to malls and
restaurants,” he said, adding that the
girl had been a regular presence at
The child is one of the youngest
people to have taken the “diksha”
ceremony to abandon their material
possessions and enter the Jain monk-
Local media quoted Devanshi’s par-
ents as saying their daughter had
always been eager to become a nun.
Jain families are sometimes said to
encourage their children to enter monk-
hood to enhance their relatives’ social
Devanshi’s family business, founded
in 1981, has a net worth of Rs5 billion
($81 million) according to Indian
credit rating agency ICRA.
Jainism has more than four million
followers in India, many from affluent
Followers adhere to a strict vegetar-
ian diet and some monks and nuns
even cover their mouths with fabric to
prevent them from accidentally swal-
The religion has come under criti-
cism for some of its ritual practices,
particularly for a tradition of extreme
fasting to death.
A 13-year-old girl in Hyderabad fell
into a coma and died in 2016 while
undertaking a two-month fast as an act
of penance, during which she was
allowed to only drink warm water
twice a day.
Her parents were charged with man-
slaughter and were subject to public
outrage over claims that the family had
forced her into the fast.
Jain girl was a pious child
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