Wednesday, November 28, 2001, Chandigarh, India





National Capital Region--Delhi

THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS
E D I T O R I A L   P A G E


EDITORIALS

Nepal’s (and India’s) crisis
I
T is emergency time in Nepal, like what India went through between 1975 and 1977. The good news is that it will lapse in three months, the period within which Parliament has to ratify the notification. In the lower House it requires a two-thirds majority and the government is not sure of the number of votes in its favour. In the upper House a simple majority will do and it belongs to the opposition mainstream Communist Party of Nepal and it has already opposed it.

Fund diversion in Punjab
W
HILE a large number of farmers in Punjab are awaiting payments for the paddy procured by the state agencies, the state government has diverted funds released by the RBI for the procurement operations in October and November to the more urgent areas like the payment of staff salaries and allowances, and repayment of the loan interest. According to media reports, the state has exhausted the entire cash-credit limit extended by the RBI, and asked for more funds from the central bank to clear the farmers’ dues amounting to about Rs 800 crore and Rs 150 crore owed to paddy millers.

Cloned embryos
S
OON after the cloning of the sheep Dolly, the next logical step has been taken. American scientists have announced their success in producing first-ever human embryos. That work in this direction was being undertaken was no secret. Yet, the announcement has taken the world's breath away, and quite understandably so. This is perhaps a defining moment in human history when mankind is taking a giant step towards a brave new world.




EARLIER ARTICLES

List of don’ts for MPs, MLAs
November 27
, 2001
Quickfix history
November 26
, 2001
War against terror: The public opinion conundrum
November 25
, 2001
What has Dalmiya done?
November 24
, 2001
BJP’s new stance
November 23
, 2001
Denness stumps cricket
November 22
, 2001
Call back the cricketers
November 21
, 2001
PM’s sangat darshan
November 20
, 2001
Politics of POTO
November 19
, 2001
Maharaja Ranjit Singh: Punjab’s benevolent ruler
November 18
, 2001
The Afghan endgame
November 17
, 2001
Doha resurrects WTO
November 16
, 2001
 
OPINION

Contradictions in anti-Americanism
Unending feeling of injustice in Arab world
S. Nihal Singh
H
OW does President George W. Bush’s “war against terror” look from the Arabian Gulf? While Dubai preens itself as the modern hub of commerce and entrepot trade, it suffers from the September 11 events like the rest of the world. A city that has prospered on its ability to host visitors, conferences and businesses puts a brave face on adversity as people stay at home, rather than travel.

MIDDLE

My little acts of honesty
M. K. Kohli
O
ne day, I was evaluating answer-books of a university examination. The test instalment had to be sent to the head examiner within 24 hours. Although I had excruciating toothache that day, I carried on — bravely. Evaluation over, I found that just 6 out of 20 candidates had passed.

FOLLOW-UP

Making dreams turn real
Reeta Sharma
F
or ages Mumbai has been the ultimate destination for every creative and talented person who dreamt of making a name one day on the national scene. Whether it was Sunil Dutt from a small town, Yamunanagar, or Dharmendra from Sahnewal or Pran from Kapurthala, everyone had dashed to Mumbai and actually achieved success that he had dreamt of.

TRENDS & POINTERS

Sleep paralysis is very common
S
leep paralysis is perhaps one of the last closet conditions. Few admit they have it for fear of being labelled mentally ill or scaring off potential friends and lovers. But the chances are those friends and lovers have had similar experiences too, for sleep paralysis (SP) is remarkably common.


Alcohol, fatty foods spoil sleep
E
xcessive consumption of alcohol and fatty foods can make for an uncomfortable night, German health insurers DAK in Hamburg reported recently.

75 YEARS AGO


Notorious murderer of Sind



A CENTURY OF NOBELS

1929 Literature: Thomas Mann


SPIRITUAL NUGGETS



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Nepal’s (and India’s) crisis

IT is emergency time in Nepal, like what India went through between 1975 and 1977. The good news is that it will lapse in three months, the period within which Parliament has to ratify the notification. In the lower House it requires a two-thirds majority and the government is not sure of the number of votes in its favour. In the upper House a simple majority will do and it belongs to the opposition mainstream Communist Party of Nepal and it has already opposed it. So the Sher Bahadur Dueba’s government is in a mess – a serious challenge to its authority from ultra-revolutionary Maoists and no law to tackle it. Emergency has been thought of as a short-term measure so that the army can be deployed to protect the police and government properties. Maoists have lost heavily during the past few days and hence will melt into the general public until the emergency becomes defunct. They will then come out with their guns blazing. What this means is that the proclamation of emergency is only a first aid and not a cure; maybe, it will exacerbate the malady in the months to come. Maoists are a powerful force in at least 40 of the 75 districts in Nepal. They have been hugely aided by the successive governments. The late King Birendra’s passionate wooing of China to offset India’s influence lent them legitimacy. Abysmal poverty in far-flung districts brought them mass support. Political corruption and the absence of development provided a momentum. Internal squabbles in the ruling Nepali Congress and the June massacre of the royalty have weakened both the political system and the charisma of the palace. It was time for the Maoists to strike and demand the demise of the monarchy. The ruling party refused and the rebels brought out their guns.

This is a big crisis for Nepal and the 10-year-old democratic set-up riven into several inexperienced factions cannot cope with it. It is also a minor crisis for India. This country has a long and open border with Nepal. Until now the Indian worry was smuggling and an occasional and unwanted visit by ISI-inspired men to UP and Bihar. Now it will be Maoists and their ideology of instant revolution. Former Nepal Prime Minister G.P.Koirala has accused India of promoting Maoists on one slender evidence. He says that when the mainline Communist Party wanted to thrash out thorny policy issues with the Maoists, the meeting took place in India. Two months ago Maoists from Nepal, India and Bangladesh met in Siliguri, in northern West Bengal, to formulate a joint strategy. There are virulent Maoist groups in Bihar and the social conditions in several districts and in Jharkhand are ripe for a violent movement. In West Bengal Maoists are anaemic but it has a home-grown movement in Darjeeling which can provide a springboard to this ultra militant tendency. India is inclined to provide all help barring troops to Nepal to fight the Maoists and that is a lesson learnt from the misadventure in Sri Lanka. 
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Fund diversion in Punjab

WHILE a large number of farmers in Punjab are awaiting payments for the paddy procured by the state agencies, the state government has diverted funds released by the RBI for the procurement operations in October and November to the more urgent areas like the payment of staff salaries and allowances, and repayment of the loan interest. According to media reports, the state has exhausted the entire cash-credit limit extended by the RBI, and asked for more funds from the central bank to clear the farmers’ dues amounting to about Rs 800 crore and Rs 150 crore owed to paddy millers. Surprisingly, the Reserve Bank of India, which must have come to know of the misutilisation of its funds from newspaper reports if not from its own monitoring mechanism has also chosen to remain a mute spectator to the games the Punjab ruling politicians and bureaucrats play with the public money. Their profligacy is evident from their frequent foreign trips, extravagant celebrations of the Khalsa centenary and the year-long celebrations of the bi-centenary of the coronation of Maharaja Ranjit Singh, and the Anandgarh fiasco, which too has cost the state dearly. Given the near-bankruptcy condition of the state economy, it is surprising to learn that Punjab has a planning board also. That it has not met even once in the past five years is another story. This does not stop its annual extensions after the budget.

In view of the financial crisis, a concerned Chief Minister is said to have told the state Finance Department to release funds only for paying the salaries, old age pension and paddy procurement dues. However, fund diversion and violation of the RBI norms are becoming all too common in the Akali-misruled state. Considering the way the State Mandi Board has been bled white, the state PSUs normally do not advertise their financial achievements, if any, lest the political leadership should hijack their funds. Austerity is a word unheard of in this state. Reforms to control government expenditure remain on paper. The employees’ salaries eat up about 65 per cent of the state budget and the government, in its PR ads, takes pride in the fact that its employees are the best paid in the country. Another 25 per cent of the budget goes into interest payments and only 10 per cent is left for development. The ministers spend as they like, announcing grants mostly in their own constituencies. They all have more than the sanctioned limit of air-conditioners installed at the public expense at their residences. A buoyant tax collection encouraged Mr Parkash Singh Badal to distribute funds at his sangat darshan shows as a maharaja in the past used to disperse his largesse to the needy and the Punjab and Haryana High Court had to intervene to stop him. Politics of appeasement and ministerial profligacy have made a mess of the state finances.
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Cloned embryos

SOON after the cloning of the sheep Dolly, the next logical step has been taken. American scientists have announced their success in producing first-ever human embryos. That work in this direction was being undertaken was no secret. Yet, the announcement has taken the world's breath away, and quite understandably so. This is perhaps a defining moment in human history when mankind is taking a giant step towards a brave new world. The epochal discovery is evoking more fear than hope. A fierce debate has erupted regarding the ethical justification for taking such a plunge into the unknown. Suddenly, the nightmare about having human slaves, mindless zombies and robots has started to look like a grim reality. Considering that the human race has tried to misuse every single discovery, be it the atomic power or sex determination tests, the apprehensions are not exactly unfounded. There are enough perverted minds in today's world to try to hijack this development as well and play Satan instead of God while manipulating the knowledge gained into the world of creating an exact replica of a human being. What will be the consequences if a scientist in future starts producing hundreds and thousands of identical human beings for specific purposes such as fighting a war or, even worse, to work as menial slaves?

However, at the same time, it cannot be denied that the strides made in this direction provide mind-boggling benefits as well. It can be possible to find cures for several intractable diseases like diabetes, cancer and AIDS. In any case, the fears expressed by many concerned citizens are based on hearsay and presuppose that scientists are closer to the holy grail of human cloning than they actually are. There is a world of difference between therapeutic cloning and reproductive cloning. In layman's language, the former is a jump of a few yards; the latter would demand a leap of several miles. The sci-fi fantasies that influence our reactions are nowhere near reality. The Advanced Cell Technology, a firm based in Worcester, Mass., has made claims only about its success in the first category, that is, creating embryos that would provide stem cells. (In fact, many rivals have rubbished the experiments as failures.) Even if they were a success, these cells could only grow into any cell type and serve as replacement tissues, which would not be rejected by human body, considering that these would be an exact genetic match. Any embryos that might result would have only genes of the egg cell. But they cannot develop into babies because male genes are needed to form a functioning placenta. So, it would be wrong to suppose that working on stem cells would amount to tinkering with life forms. Research is at a nascent stage and any number of safeguards can be introduced to make sure that the apprehensions do not become a reality. Benefits that the research offers far outweigh the expected dangers. The fear of the unknown is nothing new. A few centuries ago, sailing too far into the sea was considered taboo because everyone "knew" that the earth was flat and anyone venturing too far out was bound to go over the precipice and fall into another dimension! 
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OPINION

Contradictions in anti-Americanism
Unending feeling of injustice in Arab world
S. Nihal Singh

HOW does President George W. Bush’s “war against terror” look from the Arabian Gulf? While Dubai preens itself as the modern hub of commerce and entrepot trade, it suffers from the September 11 events like the rest of the world. A city that has prospered on its ability to host visitors, conferences and businesses puts a brave face on adversity as people stay at home, rather than travel. Unlike its oil-rich rich sister emirate of Abu Dhabi, the seat of the federal capital of the United Arab Emirates, Dubai has little oil and lives on tourism, service industries and its infrastructure. The smooth road surfaces, the gleaming shopping malls and a perennial bonanza of prizes to be won offer diversions that tempt many. But behind the razzmatazz of Dubai and the more conservative mores of Abu Dhabi lurk worries and concerns that are shared by the rich and the poor, the ruler and the ruled. The September 11 events and the American-led response to them raise uncomfortable and distressing questions. The UAE was only one of three countries to give diplomatic recognition to the Taliban regime in Afghanistan. But the decision apparently flowed more from commercial considerations than to gain political advantage.

The UAE was the first among the three to break off diplomatic relations after September 11. Saudi Arabia, whose decision to recognise the Taliban weighed with Abu Dhabi, did so only later, leaving Pakistan the Taliban’s sole window to the world. Perhaps Dubai tipped the balance in the original recognition decision and the UAE was quickly persuaded by the USA to break off relations. Some of the UAE’s concerns are shared by the rest of the Gulf and West Asia. There is sympathy for the Afghan people and a feeling of injustice in how the USA favours Israel against the Palestinians even as the recognition of the limits of a small country’s influence on the world scene is realised. The UAE is a tolerant Muslim state whose father figure Sheikh Zayed, the Abu Dhabi ruler and federal President, has always extolled the virtues of moderation in the practice of Islam.

The year-long Palestinian intefada against Israel and the harsh reprisals it has brought colour the Arab vision and impose strains on Sheikh Zayed’s concept of good governance. It is true in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, as it is true in the rest of the Arab world, that anti-American feelings in the street have risen strikingly in recent times. And while the UAE, in common with the rest of the world, has vehemently condemned the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center in New York and the Pentagon outside Washington, there is little doubt in people’s minds of the connection between American policies in West Asia and the September 11 events. The America-led war against Iraq brought into being the Madrid peace process leading to the Oslo accords because Baghdad’s propaganda accurately reflected Arab opinion on US double standards - its eagerness to evict Iraq out of Kuwait while implicitly protecting the Israeli occupation of Arab land. The so-called peace process sputtering and coming to a stop has not diminished the intensity of Arab feelings of injustice. It was easy for Osama bin Laden to fold his American-funded guerrilla operations against Soviet troops in Afghanistan into an anti-American crusade because popular Arab anger has risen manifold compared to the days of the Gulf war. Arab governments can barely keep this anger under control. It is inevitable that the American foray into Afghanistan will be followed by a new US initiative after President George W. Bush’s initial hands off approach favouring Israel yielded disastrous results.

For the immediate future, the UAE and the Arab world must face the new reality of a long multi-pronged America-led campaign against terrorism. As far as the UAE is concerned, this boils down to cooperating with the USA fully on policing money laundering through the banking sector and charities. It is not lost upon the authorities that the small UAE peace-keeping contingent in Europe has been sent home by NATO, the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation. Perceptions of America, seen from the Gulf, cover a host of emotions coloured by sentiment and realpolitik. There is distress at American impatience with any form of dissent, however, minute, in the post-September 11 era. The decision of the lady Ambassador of the USA to observe fasting during the holy month of Ramzan has failed to impress. But even as the Arab street rages against America, there is recognition of the protective umbrella the US provides many countries in the Gulf, which harbour American military facilities and bases. In a very special way, what happened on September 11 is bad news for the Gulf.

The Arab world is particularly affected by the popular American perceptions of Muslims, leading many UAE students, among those from other countries, to return home or pursue their studies elsewhere. The Gulf’s tendency to look to America not only for higher studies and military needs but also as a role model is suddenly giving way to seeking more friendly nations in Europe. The contradiction between anti-Americanism and love for American symbols of mass culture is not confined to West Asia. Qatar’s American military links coexist with Al Jazeera satellite television station presenting the Taliban side of the picture with devastating effect.

The America-led anti-terrorist campaign and bringing a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian confrontation are both of them long-term ventures. The Gulf must learn to live with them both as best it can. With falling tourist arrivals and the worldwide trend towards an economic slowdown, the tasks of managing contradictions has become that much more difficult. Irrespective of whether the USA recognises the centrality of the Arab-Israeli issue in the Osama bin Laden phenomenon and the Al Qaeda network, the terrorists will find many recruits in the Arab world as long as the universally shared feeling of injustice is not redressed by America.
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MIDDLE

My little acts of honesty
M. K. Kohli

One day, I was evaluating answer-books of a university examination. The test instalment had to be sent to the head examiner within 24 hours. Although I had excruciating toothache that day, I carried on — bravely. Evaluation over, I found that just 6 out of 20 candidates had passed. Nothing unusual in English. But I intuitively felt that the failing candidates had received a raw deal. Due to my troublesome tooth. I rushed to the nearest chemist’s, took a pain killer, and reviewed the evaluation. Four failures turned into successes. The fate of the innocent candidates would have remained sealed if my conscience had not persuaded me to re-evaluate the answer-books.

One day, while purchasing sanitary goods for building my house, I discovered that there was in the bill an error of Rs 500 — to my advantage.

I at once brought it to the notice of the dealer. The gentleman in his 50s gave me an astonished look and said: “You’re the first customer in 30 years of my business career to point out such an error.” I was astonished at his astonishment, for to me an error was an error, whatsoever the amount or whosoever the gainer or the loser.

In the early years of my career as lecturer in a college, I was given charge of furniture in addition to my academic duties. Once we invited quotations for the supply of some chairs and tables. One morning, when I entered the staff room, I found a stranger waiting for me. After introducing himself as one of the dealers from whom quotations had been invited, he said, “Sir, kya hisab kitab hai?” I at once understood what he meant and turned him away, saying, “You’re speaking to a teacher!”

Some years ago — when I was short of attaining the age of 65 by a few months — I had to go on a railway journey. I requested a young man to buy me a reservation ticket, clearly telling him that I was not yet entitled to the senior citizen concession in fare. Even then the young man brought me a concessional ticket. I at once sent him back to get that ticket cancelled and buy me a fresh one without any concession. The young man obliged me but said: “Uncle, there are people who are enjoying this concession even though they are much less old than you.”

“Highly unfortunate,” I said, “but that does not mean that we should follow the unscrupulous.”

“But don’t you think, Uncle, that the dishonesty practised by the common man is nothing as compared to the scams in which some of our big men are involved?” he asked.

“No, there can’t be any comparisons,” I said, “The big men have to be dishonest in proportion to their high status. For instance, you can’t expect such a man to sell his conscience just for a paltry sum of rupees five hundred.”

The irony did not fall flat upon the young man. So, he asked, “How do you account for the downfall, Uncle?”

“It’s greed, not need,” I said, “that rules our hearts.”

And after a pause, I added, “Gone are the days when Mukesh melodiously sang:

“Zyada ki nahin lalach humko;

Thodey mein guzara hota hai.

Hum us desh ke vasi hain,

Jis desh mein Ganga behti hai.”

The young man was fully convinced.
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FOLLOW-UP

Making dreams turn real
Reeta Sharma

For ages Mumbai has been the ultimate destination for every creative and talented person who dreamt of making a name one day on the national scene. Whether it was Sunil Dutt from a small town, Yamunanagar, or Dharmendra from Sahnewal or Pran from Kapurthala, everyone had dashed to Mumbai and actually achieved success that he had dreamt of.

In 1992 yet another dreamy-eyed boy took a train to Mumbai with his only baggage, a degree in arts, from the Government College of Arts, Chandigarh. In less than a decade, the boy has already crossed the barriers of national fame to the international one. Whether it is Mac Donalds or Swiss Broadcasting Corporation or German Television or BBC, Sumit Dutt’s name rings a bell everywhere.

This boy from Jalandhar, who started his career at Mehboob Studios with the famous advertising company “Far Video”, has now opened his own by the name, “Mise En Scene”, a title derived from French, meaning a “single shot”.

Before this company, his credits included serials on Zee TV like, “Flu” shot in England, “Awaaz”, the documentary on Goa’s underworld mafia (which was not allowed screening because of its boldness), “Galaxy” in which top stars of Bollywood like, Asha Bhonsle, Shahrukh Khan, Raveena Tandon, etc were featured.

It was Sumit Dutt who introduced Daler Mahndi in his series on personal lives of emerging singers on the Punjabi Pop scene. He also presented Bally Sagoo’s life in England, besides that of Baba Sehghal. In total 28 pop singers were presented in these series, which earned him the RAPA Award. From Zee, he moved on to Clarion to do ad films for them, which included three for the Tatas and two for Hindustan Levers, besides films on Nokia, Goldflake, Kitply etc.

But it is his imagination and creativity that never let him rest on his laurels. So, recently, he made five ad films for McDonalds on “Happy Meals” meant for children. These have been screened on Cartoon Network, National Geographic, Sony, and DD Metro. It is a treat to watch the entire Manhattan created with computer graphics where the toy cars’ chase takes place. Similarly, in one of the films a stadium has been shown with millions of people created with the help of computers with merely 10 people in the audience.

Then his film on GoodKnight Liquidator of mosquitoes made for Godrej for the South African market has an interesting tale to tell. The ad, which revolves around a mother and child, was faced with the whip of a law, which debarred showing a child below the age of 12 in any film. He succeeded in removing the child from the scenes with the help of computers and even replaced one with an Indian face without anyone having actually acted. The Sri Lankan version of GoodKnight ad, again directed by Sumit as a launch film, has already succeeded as a leading brand. And the secret of the success lies in the fact that he spent a week in Sri Lanka to understand their life-styles enabling him to create a set with minutest details presented with authenticity.

Swiss Broadcasting Corporation has already given him a green signal for his exciting project on a 77-year old German lady, Gertrude, living in Mumbai for the past 50 years. She had entered India as a governance to an English lady and later married a local Parsi and eventually decided to settle down in India only.

Sumit has shot the film on her life. She today owns two oldest cinema theatres of Mumbai that is Arora Theatres and Edwards Theatres, besides two in Pune and Surat. Interestingly, her husband used to manage 40 cinema theatres across the country. Gertrude, over the years, has adopted Hindu religion and religiously performs Ganesh Chaturthi every year for nine days, which is a popular tradition in Maharashtra. She can speak Hindi, Gujrati and Marathi and is amused to confess that she has almost forgotten German.

There is yet another exciting project that Sumit Dutt is already shooting.

This film is on the great British architects who came to India and made famous buildings but remain forgotten and unnoticed by the British history.

Two of these architects include George Wittet and Frederick William Stevens, who designed three famous buildings of Mumbai like, Prince of Wales Museum, Gateway of India and King Edward Memorial Hospital? They so imaginatively and successfully included “Gothic architecture” with that of Hindu and Muslim influences on Indian architecture.

One interesting anecdote speaks volumes about the personality and mental make-up of this young director, producer. He was approached by the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation to make a film on an Indian kid depicting his poverty and struggle.

But instead of selling poverty, he succeeded in showing a totally different life of an Indian kid. He chose Jeto Sanjana, son of a Parsi and South Indian mother, who is religiously being groomed a Jazz and drums player. Jeto has never gone to school but takes lessons at home in various subjects.

However, his aim of life is music alone. His mother is an Indian classical vocal artist and father is a Jazz musician. Needless to say that the film sold like a hot cake.

What has brought him on a Punjab tour? “Well, Bally Sagoo and me are jointly working on a project wherein we will research on Bhangra and other traditional folk dances. We wish to present the pure, undistorted forms of these dances because Bally feels that Indi-Pop is like a bubble-gum music. And I quite agree with him.”
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TRENDS & POINTERS

Sleep paralysis is very common

Sleep paralysis is perhaps one of the last closet conditions. Few admit they have it for fear of being labelled mentally ill or scaring off potential friends and lovers. But the chances are those friends and lovers have had similar experiences too, for sleep paralysis (SP) is remarkably common.

The 1990 International Classification of Sleep Disorders reports that sleep paralysis happens all the time to people with the sleep disorder narcolepsy, is a once or twice in a lifetime event for 40 to 60 per cent of the population, and is frequent in about 3 to 6 per cent of the rest of us.

Sleep paralysis usually happens when someone is just entering or leaving sleep, and lasts from a few seconds to a couple of minutes. Most research has linked it with REM, or rapid eye movement, sleep which indicates dreaming.

When the body and brain enter REM sleep, the muscles relax and the brain blocks signals that would normally allow the limbs to move, so preventing the body from acting out its dreams.

One suggestion for the cause of sleep paralysis is that the firewall between sleeping and wakefulness temporarily drops, so that some sleep phenomena, of which paralysis is one, breaks into wakefulness.

“The connection with the environment switches on and the dream world off and you become self-aware and awake and wanting to go — and then you find you can’t,” explains a psychologist and pharmacologist, Dr Chris Idzkowski, Director of the Sleep Assessment Advisory Service. “Which, in turn, is likely to lead to your being anxious and fearful.”

Dr Al Cheyne from the University of Waterloo says recent evidence from neuroimaging studies during REM shows that the amygdala and several related limbic structures in the brain — the centre of our emotional being — are active during REM sleep.

“The fear of undetected threat is exacerbated because the person is awake, paralysed and usually in a helpless, supine position,” says Dr Cheyne.

Along with the hallucinations are feelings of being touched, pulled or a pressure on the chest. Some people even have out of body (OBE) experiences, though this is rare and often a sign of impending narcolepsy.

Sleep paralysis usually starts between the ages of 16 and 17. It increases dramatically through the teens and declines sharply during the twenties. It’s comparatively rare after the thirties, but some people report episodes well into their seventies.

“You can’t overlook the fact that adolescents are among the most sleep- deprived people in the population,” says Dr Cheyne. “Sleep deprivation and disruption is a fairly effective way to increase the probability of sleep paralysis.”

So common is sleep paralysis among shift workers that it is known as “night-nurse paralysis”, named not after the flu remedy, but the frequent reports of sleep paralysis among nurses doing night shifts. Lying on the back is supposed to increase the likelihood of an episode, but there is no link with anxiety, panic disorder or any other mental condition.

Once you have experienced one attack, the fear that you might have another predisposes you to have more. Sufferers are consequently plagued by insomnia. But despite the unremitting nature of the condition, few sleep specialists take an interest in it, mainly because sleep paralysis, though debilitating, is essentially harmless. Few GPs, if any, have even heard about it.

Consequently, those who live in terror of the night often keep quiet for fear of being labelled unstable. Sleep paralysis is one step away from mental health problems and for men, in particular, a sign that you can’t deal with your sleep, as you should, along with everything else in your life.

Severe sleep paralysis can be treated successfully with Prozac-type anti-depressants which inhibit REM sleep, but sometimes the most effective way to deal with it is to understand what it is and develop techniques for waking yourself or your partner.

But for those with sleep paralysis, waking up is indeed hard to do. Akosua Serbeh-Baah manages to move a finger to flip her into wakefulness. Dr Jones-Chesters makes a noise in his throat in the hope that he’ll bring himself round. It usually works. The Observer
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Alcohol, fatty foods spoil sleep

Excessive consumption of alcohol and fatty foods can make for an uncomfortable night, German health insurers DAK in Hamburg reported recently.

Overindulgence adversely affects metabolism, it said, adding that the stomach has to work so hard after a rich meal that the rest of the body is kept awake and this will frequently result in an early wake-up call.

DAK said that a light, suitable snack eaten in the evening is the best way of assuring a good night’s sleep. Milk and tuna fish, for example, are excellent for this purpose: they contain sleep-inducing amino acids such as tryptophan.

Several small, carbohydrate-rich meals spread throughout the day can also cure sleep problems. DPA
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Notorious murderer of Sind

Hyderabad: The notorious murderer of Ubavro and the neighbouring villages has been at last arrested through the bravery of a police constable who, though twice shot at on the leg, managed to grapple with the ruffian at close quarters till another policeman came to his succour and secured him.
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A CENTURY OF NOBELS


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The Lord of millions of worlds is One God. He is the giver of life to all that lives. His treasures are spread in the world. Whatever we get comes from Him. The creator creates and surveys His universe. Nanak, true are the actions of the True One.

— Japji Sahib

* * *

Divine is the base;

Divine will is the superstructure

Divine is inner core of all beings,

near and far, big or small.

Expand your consciousness

to its utmost limits.

Divine will is ever free and fresh;

Divine has not selfishness or pride

or greed or envy.

Divinity is only the terminus of the journey of human life. Divinity seeks only a pure heart to confer grace.

Divine is a wine that would intoxicate you; it is produced by nectar; Taste it and you forget everything else.

Divine life does not admit

the slightest dross in the character;

Divine beauty is eternal, full, free.

Divine is not manufactured by any company nor available in any shop.

It is not something that can be earned from outside.

It has to sprout and grow from within and treasured within.

The Divine Mother does not appreciate demonstrative trappings.

She values sincerity, yearning, virtue, compassion, love.

— From the discourses of Sathya Sai Baba

* * *

As rats eat weaver’s thread,

cares are eating inside me,

O God Almighty! Show Thy mercy to Thy devotee.

— Rigveda, 10.33.3

* * *

O God,

the Sovereign Lord of the Vast Universe.

Help us to eradicate all our defects and deficiencies.

Of the eyes, of the heart and of the mind. Be merciful and compassionate to us.

— Yajurveda, 36.2

* * *

O Resplendent Lord!

Thou never lettest Thy devotee

The philanthropist be humbled,

Thy bounty is showered on him

More and ever more.

— Samveda, 300
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