Sunday, February 9, 2003, Chandigarh, India


N C R   S T O R I E S


Panipat record dismal
‘Talaash’ for illegal Bangladeshi settlers at dead-end
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Panipat, February 8
The recent stand-off between India and Bangladesh over illegal immigrants notwithstanding, the local police are dithering on the issue of flushing out thousands of illegal Bangladeshis, apparently under pressure from the lobbies of exporters and manufacturers.

And with that, the joint special operation — ‘Talaash’ — started by the police brass of Haryana, Delhi, Punjab, Chandigarh, UP and Rajasthan in Sonepat on January 15, seems to have lost steam. Only Noida police had arrested 95 illegal settlers but the rest of the police forces appear to have given the campaign the go-by. The track record of the Panipat police seems to be worst. With the handloom industry, which employs hundreds of illegal settlers, lukewarm to their deportation and the police unwilling to give them the stick, they are here to stay.

Recruiting Bangladeshis has an economic angle to it. Driven by poverty in the country of their origin, the Bangladeshi labour is relatively cheap. Since they are not organised into any kind of a trade union, they could be thrown out at the drop of a hat.

In private, top police officials concede the presence of a large number of illegal settlers. Their argument is that if the Bangladeshis settlers were driven out, the world-famous handloom industry would suffer a death blow. Ditto for the exporters, who also subscribe to the police theory — the theory originally propounded by the power industrialists’ lobby..

Since the illegal settlers resemble their West Bengal counterparts, it is difficult to distinguish them from other workers. The problem was compounded since a majority of them live under assumed names and have given fake West Bengal addresses. There was no way the police could verify their antecedents, sitting in Panipat, the police officials regretted.

In October last year, the CID had tipped off the police on a number of illegal Bangladeshis working in the Radha Weaving Mill on Barsat Road. Taking their own time, the police did raid the factory and arrested 21 Bangladeshis while a large number of illegal immigrants escaped from the factory premises.

However, instead of producing them before a local court, the police, in their own wisdom and probably under pressure from the exporters’ lobby, preferred to release some of them on personal bonds. It was only after the media highlighted the police carelessness in the sensitive issue related to the national security that they were arrested again and produced in the court. They have now reportedly been deported. But where? The police officials are tight-lipped about it.


Mining mafia back in business
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, February 8
Illegal mining has not come to a halt in the region despite the ban on the mining activities imposed by the Supreme Court, it is learnt.

The mafia involved has been firing on all cylinders to carry out the mining in every possible spot of the Arawalli hills where the supervision of the authorities was lacking.

The latest incident of violation of the Supreme Court order has come from a village in Hathin subdivision of the district where ‘illegal’ mining has been on for the past 20 days, according to the residents of Bajada Pahari, near Gahlab village of the subdivision.

It is reported that the contractors of some mining companies have landed here with all heavy machinery, and about 100 to 150 trucks of stones and other material were being mined out every day. The sarpanch and the residents of Bajada Pahari village, when objected to the activity, were told that it was done as per the orders of the authorities.

The contractors and their men have reportedly even threatened the villagers.

It is learnt that all the roads and approach ways have been damaged heavily due to the movement of trucks, day and night.

A former minister and MLA from Palwal, Mr Karan Singh Dalal, visited the spot today and described it as gross violation of the Supreme Court orders.

He has asked the district authorities to stop the mining immediately and arrest the offenders. He said the village was part of the Arawalli belt and mining in such a manner would ruin the ecology and environment of the area.


New BIS norms likely for bottled mineral water
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, February 8
The testing procedure and standards of bottled water are likely to be changed by the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) following the sensational revelation that they contained harmful pesticides which can cause cancer in the long run. Sources said the BIS had convened a meeting on Friday where Ms Sunita Narain, Director of Centre for Science and Environment, made a detailed presentation on the “bottled water report” prepared by the CSE.

The CSE study had revealed that the popular brands of bottled water sold in India contained residues of pesticides like lindane, DDT, melathion and chorpyrifos. They collect in the body over the years and cause cancer and weaken the immune system. The CSE examined 17 brands in Delhi and 13 in Mumbai.

The members of the two technical committees, Drinks and Carbonated Beverages-FAD 14 and Pesticides Residue Analysis-FAD 15, attended the meeting. They reviewed the requirements of pesticide residues as laid down in the Indian standards.

After the presentation and discussions, the committees felt the need to make necessary changes in the requirements of the Indian standards to detect pesticides in bottled water. Sources said the necessary changes are likely to be made soon.

The current Standards IS 13428:1998 Packaged Natural Mineral Water (first revision) and IS 14543:1998 Packaged Drinking Water (other than natural mineral water) were last amended in 2000 to align with the requirements laid down under the Prevention of Food Adulteration Act, 1954 of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. These standards do not prescribe tests for specifically detecting pesticides.


HC orders probe into ‘loan’ given at time of admission
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, February 8
The Delhi High Court has directed the Directorate of Education to institute an inquiry to ascertain whether Delhi Public School, Dwarka, has flouted norms by refusing to refund the ‘loan’ furnished by a parent at the time of his son’s admission to the school.

The petitioner, K S Pahwa, has alleged that the school asked him for a loan of Rs. 40,000 at the time of his son’s admission and has gone back on the assurance that the amount would be refunded when the child leaves the school.

“I had to pay the amount as a loan at the time of admitting my son to class VII in the academic year 1999-2000”, Mr Pahwa said, adding that “the school would have denied my son admission had I refused to pay. Much after the admission they asked me to sign a consent note that said that the amount I have paid is out of my own consent”.

Mr Pahwa alleges that he refused to sign the note and after a year when he withdrew his child, the school authorities after repeated pleas failed to refund the money. “The school chairman and the principal refused to refund the money claiming that I had made a voluntary donation,” he adds. Mr. Pahwa approached the court subsequently to seek help in retrieving the money, which he claims was a loan.

The school authorities on their part maintain that Mr Pahwa had paid the sum as a “voluntary contribution” to the school and had even signed a receipt to that effect. “We have a separate receipt for all kinds of help that the school receives. Mr. Pahwa had given the said amount as a voluntary contribution and not as a loan. We have the proof of the same”, said Ms. Aruna Ummat, Principal, DPS, Dwarka. Mr Pahwa points out that the receipt that was provided to him at the time of depositing the money was lost and that it had read “loan” and not “voluntary contribution”.

The court has asked the Director of Education to submit its report within four weeks. 


Zero waiting period at Meerut MH for ex-servicemen
Our Correspondent

Meerut, February 8
A separate outpatient department catering exclusively to ex-servicemen and their dependents was inaugurated by Lt-Gen V.K. Dhir, Director-General, EME, in Military Hospital here today.

Speaking on the occasion, Lt-Gen Dhir said that Military Hospital, Meerut, was the very first among all MHs to have commissioned this type of a facility. This will benefit more then 3.75 lakh ex-servicemen and their dependents. The aim of this OPD was to ensure a zero waiting period.

The Commandant of the hospital, Brig Surjit Singh, said: “We are aging every day and unless we take regular exercise and adopt WHO’s theme for 2002-03 of health, nutritious diet and modified lifestyle, many non-infectious diseases will accompany the aging process. And for all ailments, both infectious and metabolic, the relief centre is the hospital. Therefore, the military hospitals in the country must be state-of-the-art and well equipped to keep our troops and their dependents fighting fit.’’

He added that the aim of MH, Meerut, was to provide pre-emptive care with compassion to all the troops, ex-servicemen and their dependents. “We also want every patient to be the first. In other words, MH wants zero waiting time for one and all at each department, be it the OPD, laboratory or X-ray lab or dispensary.”


No honour is less for someone who hitched her wagon to the stars
Tripti Nath
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, February 8
About 300 persons, including the alumni, principal and faculty members of Punjab Engineering College (PEC), Chandigarh, will hold their heads high when they assemble at Kamani Auditorium here on Sunday to pay tribute to alumna and astronaut Kalpana Chawla.

Kalpana Chawla, 42, was among the seven astronauts who died when the space shuttle Columbia disintegrated over the Texas last Saturday.

A seven-member managing committee of Punjab Engineering College Chandigarh Old Boys Association (PECOBA) today unanimously agreed to propose to the President and the Prime Minister a Bharat Ratna for the young astronaut.

Mr Amarjit Singh Kohli, founder and general secretary of PECOBA told the ‘NCR Tribune’ here on Saturday that the resolution proposes that the American astronaut of Indian origin be awarded Bharat Ratna posthumously.

The proposed resolution reads, “She has shown exemplary courage in fulfilling her dreams by reaching to the stars through sheer devotion, dedication and perseverance, unparalleled in the history of Indian science.”

Mr Kohli said that the resolution would be adopted at the meeting on Sunday.

He said that they would also propose to the Chandigarh Administration to find a way to perpetuate Kalpana’s memory.

Mr Kohli said that the PEC Principal, Professor Baljeet Kapoor, the Head of the Department of Aeronautical Engineering, Professor S.C. Dhawan, and the former Head of the Department of Aeronautical Engineering, Professor V.S. Malhotra, who taught Kalpana, are expected to attend the meeting.

Kalpana passed out of PEC in 1982 and had been in touch with Professor Malhotra.

Six days before the space shuttle met its tragic fate, Kalpana had sent a message to the student community through Professor Malhotra.

The message read, “The path from dreams to reality does exit. May you have the vision to find it, the courage to get on to it and the perseverance to follow it.”

Professor Malhotra acknowledged the mail when she was returning to the earth by wishing her a happy and safe landing. His message said, “We are proud of you.” The PECOBA general secretary said that the alumni who have confirmed their participation at the meeting include four of Kalpana’s classmates—Rajinder Passi, Atul Khosla, Gyan Dawra and Ravi Kesri.

He said that Kalpana’s schoolteacher from Tagore Bal Niketan, Karnal, Daljeet Kaur Madan, her paternal uncles and a representative from the US embassy are also expected to attend the meeting.

Mr Kohli who founded the Association in 1967 said that they have received an overwhelming response from the old students all over the world. PECOBA has chapters in about 40 towns in India and 20 foreign countries. About 10,000 alumni, including 1,000 abroad (700 in the US alone) are associated with PECOBA.

A 15-minute audio-visual on Kalpana would also be screened at the meeting.


Bansi Lal scoffs at alliances, HVP to go it alone
Our Correspondent

Rohtak, February 8
The former Chief Minister, Mr Bansi Lal, reiterated here today that his Haryana Vikas Party (HVP) would not enter into an electoral alliance with any political party and would contest the next Assembly and parliamentary elections on its own.

In a statement issued here today, Mr Bansi Lal denied reports that the HVP had reached an understanding with the Congress on the sharing of seats in the next Vidhan Sabha and Lok Sabha elections. He described the news report as baseless and unfounded. He said that he had been in Bhiwani since February 1 and nobody had tried to verify the facts about the so-called alliance with the Congress. He alleged that the political parties opposed to the HVP were perturbed over the ground gained by his party and as such were using the media to tarnish its image.

Mr Bansi Lal said that he left the Congress many years ago and had formed the HVP government in Haryana in 1996. He said that his experience about politics of alliance had not been very encouraging and therefore, the HVP had decided not to have any alliance with either the Congress or the BJP or any other political party in the future. The HVP would form the government on its own strength, he said.

Castigating the Congress on the issue of the origin of its national president, the HVP leader said that his party could not even think of entering into an electoral alliance with a party whose all-India president was a foreigner and the name of its pradesh chief was synonymous with corruption.


JD(U) opposes ‘move’ to hand over Ayodhya land
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, February 8
The Haryana unit of the Janata Dal (U) has criticised the stand of the Vajpayee government on the Ayodhya issue and has opposed the “move” to hand over the undisputed site to the Ram Janam Bhumi Nyas on the pressure exerted by some right wing Hindu organisations.

In a statement here today, the unit’s chief, Mr Ved Prakash Vidrohi, said that there was no need to hand over any part of the land at Ayodhya to any trust or Nyas till the matter was pending in the court. He accused the central leadership of the BJP and the Vajpayee-led central government of playing a game of double standards and befooling the people by showing favours to organisations like the VHP and the Nyas. He said the NDA government should stick to its earlier promise that it would accept the court’s order on the issue and leave the matter till it was settled through the judiciary. He appealed to the partners of the NDA government to oppose the reported move of the government to interfere and hand over the undisputed site to the Nyas for prayers and other activities.

He claimed that the Nyas and the VHP could take over the disputed site later if undisputed site was given to them and this could flare up the communal passions across the country.

He alleged that the BJP leadership had been doing so in view of the elections in some states in the near future.


Govt claims to have spent Rs 405 cr on development works
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, February 8
The Indian National Lok Dal government, headed by Mr Om Prakash Chautala, had spent Rs 405 crore on various development schemes in this district during the past three-and-a-half years.

Mr Balwan Singh, Deputy Commissioner, told mediapersons here today that this amount included Rs 31.72 crore spent on more than 700 development schemes in the district under `Sarkar Aap Ke Dwar’ programme. The Chief Minister, he said, had sanctioned Rs 41 crore to be spent on 1,379 development schemes to be undertaken under `Sarkar Aap Ke Dwar’ Programme launched by him.

Moreover, Rs 297.60 crore had been spent on various development schemes launched by different government departments in this district. In addition, Rs 75.57 crore had been spent on the special projects undertaken by the government in the district. Referring to the constituency-wise development schemes under the `Sarkar Aap Ke Dwar’ programme, the DC disclosed that the Chief Minister had sanctioned 342 development schemes in the Kailana Assembly constituency and the government had so far spent Rs 12 crore on the completion of 148 development works. Similarly, the Chief Minister had sanctioned Rs 4 crore on 127 development works to be undertaken in the Sonepat Assembly constituency. So far, only 48 works had been completed under this programme.

According to the DC, Rs 6.63 crore had been sanctioned for undertaking 301 development schemes in the Rai Assembly constituency and 175 of them had been completed. For the Rohat Assembly constituency, 227 development works would be completed at a cost of Rs 4.69 crore. So far, 116 works had been completed.

In the Baroda (R) constituency, the Chief Minister had sanctioned Rs 6.31 crore to be spent on 188 development works, in which 123 works had been completed.

Referring to the special development projects sanctioned by the government, the DC said that the state government had spent Rs 60 crore on the Chaudhary Devi Lal Sugar Mill at Ahulana village in this district. Similarly, Rs 3.50 crore had been spent on the construction of the vegetable market at Gohana town. He also said that a sum of Rs 16 lakh had been spent on the construction of a town park in Sector 14, a residential colony of HUDA; Rs 60 lakh on the construction of the Chaudhary Devi Lal Park; Rs 15 lakh on Gymkhana Club; Rs 2.50 crore on the waterworks in Sector 23; and Rs 42 lakh on a memorial at Bad Khalsa village near Rai.


Centre’s nod for Rural Building Centre in Jahajgarh
Jatinder Sharma

Rohtak, February 8
The Centre has approved setting up of a Rural Building Centre (Nirman Kendra) at Jahajgarh in Jhajjar district under the “Lab to Land” technology transfer programme jointly undertaken by the Union Government and HUDCO.

The building centre would be prompting cost-effective and functional building technologies and building material and construction techniques evolved by various research and design (R and D) organisations in the country, as well as those validated for use in various elements of construction in housing, building and other construction.

The Additional Deputy Commissioner, Jhajjar, Dr Suprabha Dahiya, said that land measuring 10,042 square metres for the building centre had been earmarked and taken into possession. The land had been provided free of cost by the village panchayat for setting up the centre. She said that various training programmes proposed to be conducted under the auspices of the centre for a period ranging from three to six months included masonry, carpentry, bar bending, joinery, electric wiring, plumbing, welding and grill work, manufacture of tiles, building blocks in bricks, concrete and low-cost housing techniques and low-cost sanitation in rural areas.

Dr Suprabha Dahiya felt that there was an urgent need to provide shelter to each and every person but regretted that the cost of building material was skyrocketing day by day because of which the task had become difficult for the common men, especially in the rural areas. Therefore, an urgent need was being felt to encourage cost-effective and eco-friendly housing/building components and technology to preserve natural resources and national wealth to be used for other essential requirements in health and education sector, national infrastructure building etc.

The centre would have in its layout the provision of office building, stores, open/closed canting/stocking yard, curing tanks, facilities for display yard, parking area etc. While executing the above, Dr Dahiya said, all the cost-effective technologies proposed would be used, to serve as a demonstration unit on the premises of the centre.

The Nirman Kendra, she said, would be continuously updating the technology profile emerging in the R and D organisations and would make efforts for propagating the same in a proper manner.


Smack seized from woman
Our Correspondent

Rohtak, February 8
The district police arrested a woman and recovered 12 gm of smack from her at Rainakpura locality here last evening. According to information, a police team raided the house of Phool Singh at Rainakpura and recovered the narcotics from his wife. A case under Section 17 of the NDPS Act was registered in this connection.

MDU council meeting

The 163rd meeting of the Executive Council of Maharshi Dayanand University would be held on February 24 and the 130th meeting of the Academic Council of the varsity on February 14. Dr A. K. Rajan, Registrar of the university, said the last date for submission of nominations for elections of regular teachers to the Academic Council is February 7.

Workshop on counselling

“Counselling is required in each stage of life, right from the cradle to the grave.” This was stated by eminent psychologist and counsellor, Prof Vidhu Mohan, retired professor of Panjab University, Chandigarh in a special lecture-cum-workshop on “Counselling: Nature, issues and techniques”, organised by the Psychology Department of Maharshi Dayanand University here today.

Prof Mohan dwelt on the application aspect of counselling in her lecture. She emphasised the need of honing the skills of ‘building of trust’ and ‘listening’ to the budding counsellors of the Psychology Department. She explained various models of counselling, including developmental crisis and counselling. She underlined the importance of introducing holistic sex education in schools and emphasised proper counselling for parenting as well. She categorically stated that only trained counsellors be allowed to practise, otherwise quacks might cause psychological impairments in the counselled persons.

Missing for two months

Mr Om Prakash, a resident of Chandi village, has been running from pillar to post to trace his 18-year-old son, Aryendra Singh, who has been missing for the last two months. His complaint in this regard was registered by the police on Thursday. The complainant stated in the FIR that his son had been studying in Adarsh Gurukul at Singhpura village. Aryendra left for the Gurukul on December 7 last year and had failed to return so far. He said he searched for his son at several places but in vain. He appealed to the SSP and the IG, Rohtak range, to trace his son.


Women face the worst hardship in suburban trains
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, February 8
Women commuters have been facing great hardships in boarding the overcrowded incoming and outgoing suburban trains running on the DUK Section of the Northern Railway.

According to a report, thousands of women passengers, including government and semi-government employees and schoolteachers, commute daily between Sonepat and Delhi and vice-versa. The trains are generally overcrowded. The situation has deteriorated with the authorities reducing the number of women coaches forcing women to travel in the men’s compartments. There is only one women compartment in each suburban train and this causes great inconvenience to them.

Many women alleged that youths and students are in the habit of travelling in the women’s compartments in the absence of any checking by the Railways and the police. This leads to cases of eve-teasing and molesting of girls and women.

The situation is the worst in the 1 DPM passenger train since it has been converted into an EMU train. Milk vendors invariably hold monthly season tickets (MSTs) but they carry more containers and travel in second class coaches without getting their containers booked. Their huge containers occupy most of the space in the coaches. Moreover, they block the entry ad exit doorways of the coaches. These containers cause inconvenience to the passengers, particularly women, as the train halts for less than a minute at the railway stations.

On many occasions, women passengers have failed to enter the coaches or get down from them. The Railway authorities and the GRP always remain silent spectators. They have allegedly failed to take any action against the milk vendors travelling without booking their huge containers. This has caused widespread resentment among the women commuters who are contemplating to picket the railway tracks in the near future in protest against the authorities. 


Dalit samaj up in arms 
Our Correspondent

Rewari, February 8
Members of the Dalit samaj here are agitated over the failure of the district administration to apprehend the killers of a young rickshaw-puller, Lal Singh, resident of Mohalla Chaudharywara here. The body of Lal Singh was recovered by the police from a field near Gokalgarh village, about 3 km from here on January 15,2003.

It is stated that the criminals, who had hired the rickshaw from the Railway Chowk here on the night of January 14, had dumped his body there after he was stoned to death. Besides, the criminals had also hidden the rickshaw under a pile of chaff, stored in an abandoned room near the roadside.

The joint action committee (related to the murder of Lal Singh), which held an emergency meeting here on February 5, had warned the administration that if the killers were not apprehended by February 9, they would be compelled to resort to an agitation.

The president of the joint action committee, Lala Ram, said that it was deplorable that their ultimatum had failed to elicit any positive response from the administration.

He said copies of their resolution had been submitted to the Superintendent of Police as well as the Deputy Commissioner through the Tehsildar on January 28. Besides, he said it was shameful that none from the administration had taken care to console the bereaved family.


Raw deal to Ahirwal decried 
Our Correspondent

Rewari, February 8
Former legislator and president of the Sarvajati Janata Panchayat, a political outfit of Ahirwal, Mr Raghu Yadav, has emphasised the need for fairness towards the youths of Rewari, Mahendragarh and Gurgaon districts in the recruitment of youths to government jobs.

He said there was negligible representation from these regions, collectively known as Ahirwal, in the government services.

He alleged that Ahirwal has been a victim of apathy by successive governments of Haryana.

Giving statistical details to substantiate his point, he said that none of the Judges of the Punjab and Haryana High Court and members of the Haryana Public Service Commission hailed from this region. Similarly, there was a negligible presence of the region among senior officials such as the IAS, IPS, heads of various government departments and chairmen of various boards and corporations.

Mr Yadav said it was unfortunate that recruitment’s were done on the considerations of caste and community affiliations. He said this had led to others covertly grabbing the job quotas meant for the youths of Rewari, Mahendragarh and Gurgaon districts.

Mr Yadav called upon the people of Ahirwal to come together to combat this menace in order to secure a fair deal for the region.


Officials geared up for small savings promotion camps
Nawal Kishore Rastogi

Rewari, February 8
As many as nine small savings maximisation (promotion) camps will be held in the district at Palhawas (February 11), Khori (February 14), Dahina (February 18), Kund (February 21), Khol (February 25), Bawal (February 28), Dharan (March 4), Dharuhera (March 7) and Nahar (March 11).

This information was provided by the Deputy Commissioner, Mr Vineet Garg, at a meeting of the Public Relations and Grievances Redressal Committee here today. He said that the camps would be presided over by the Additional Deputy Commissioner, the two SDM’s of Rewari and Kosli and the City Magistrate. He also exhorted the officials to put in extra hard work to enable the district to achieve the small savings deposit target fixed for the current financial year.

Twelve out of the fourteen complaints, which came up before the meeting, were redressed on the spot. The complaints mainly pertained to an overloaded transformer in Bawwa village, erratic power supply in Khandora village and encroachments on panchayati pathways in Majri village.

The Deputy Commissioner also directed officials of the Irrigation Department to launch proceedings for the removal of illegal encroachments made by farmers along the canals. The meeting was also attended by Mr Hanif Qureshi, SP, senior officials of the district and non-official members of the committee.


Rise in incidence of unnatural deaths in district
Our Correspondent

Rewari, February 8
Of late, there has been a rise in the incidents of unnatural deaths in the district. As many as four such cases have been reported from various villages of the district this week.

Hari Ram, a resident of Asalwas village near here, was run over by the Pooja Express, while he was trying to cross the railway track near Bawal, about 12 km from here on Thursday. The train was going from Delhi to Jaipur.

In a second incident, the body of one Prakash Bai (32), wife of Babu Lal, was recently found hanging from the ceiling of her residence in Naichana village, under Bawal Police Station of the district. It is stated that mental depression was the cause of the suicide.

The third incident relates to the alleged suicide committed by one Ram Mehar, son of Hardwari Lal, in Sumokatopuri village on Monday. His body was found hanging from a tree near the school of the village on Tuesday.

The fourth incident refers to the tragic death of a twelve-year-old boy, Praveen Kumar, son of Mahendra Singh, resident of Bidwas villae, about 12 km from here.

The boy was killed when the mound of sand, on which he was playing, abruptly collapsed on Monday evening. His body was extricated next morning when the matter came to light after a search.


Delights of falling in love

Basic elements of all love stories in real life may not have undergone any change but manifestation in this electronic age may have taken on many new forms. Technological advance, particularly the emergence of gadgets like the mobile phone, makes it unnecessary for lovers to pine because of long absence.

So also in the expression of love: from the melodious tunes of old, it is the rap or the rock that may be the rage now. It may not be a Shelley, Byron, a Wordsworth or a Keats, who set the tune, but the Beatles, the Rahmans and the like.

Be that as it may, what Emerson wrote of old about the emotion of love still holds good. Lovers delight in endearments, in avowals of love and in comparisons of their regards. If love-laden lines from poems of old came in handy in the past, today the youngsters flash SMS messages and enter chat sessions to drive away gloom.

And as of old they try and weigh their affection and adding up costly advantages, friends, opportunities, properties, exult in discovering that they are willing to stake all these and give as a ransom for the beloved.

The power of this love to create a new world of its own in the lover and the beloved is immense. When this love enters a heart, there arises a new power that makes all things anew; there is a dawn of poetry, music and art… “It is a fact often observed that men have written good verses under the inspiration of passion who can not write well under any other circumstances.’’ That is again Emerson.

“O, my luv is like a red, red rose\That’s newly sprung in June\O, my luv is like a melodie/ That’s sweetly played in tune’’ wrote Burns catching a glimpse of what every lover would sing of the object of his love. There may be nothing so sweet as life’s young dream.

But then young girls as well as boys who think love could be secure in the “externals” such as physical beauty, educational and social status, should be prepared for surprises in fortunes. For instance, philosopher Pascal expects them to ponder: “If a man loves a woman for her beauty, does he love her? No; for the smallpox, which destroys her beauty without killing her, causes his love to cease. And if any one loves me for my judgement or my memory, does he really love me? No; for I can lose these qualities without ceasing to be.”

Some well-meaning parents object to their young ones getting close to the opposite sex because of the fear of their getting involved in deeper relationships and making immature decisions of which they may regret later. The flesh may yield to temptations and passions may hinder a right judgement of the compatibility of two involved in a relationship. When tings go wrong subsequently, it is too late to repent. And many teenage love affairs may end in failure and tragedy.

However, there seems to be more love marriages than arranged marriages these days. With increasing urbanisation and spread of education there is greater mingling of the sexes leading to marriages between persons of differing background. They transcend the barriers of caste, religion, language and even ethnicity. Do they all succeed? In the absence of data, one cannot hazard a guess. But in such marriages, there is a greater need for a spirit of adaptability and tolerance. All marriages undoubtedly call for a spirit of sacrifice.

In the Indian tradition, the middle class place emphasis on chastity and faithfulness in marriage and the existing moral code attaches stigma to pre-marital sex, extra-marital relationships and other types of deviations. The strong family ties could be another factor ensuring permanence of marriages. But as in the West, the growing materialism, the weakening of family ties and the hold of religion on people’s lives portend threats to the stability of marriage.

Marital bliss cannot be taken for granted. The boy and the girl “falling in love” will have to look before they leap. There is the ancient saying that “all that glitters is not gold”. The choice of a life partner is serious business and can not be treated lightly, because marriage, has the potential to make or mar the rest of life. Especially for those who do not regard marriage merely as a social contract but as a life-long sacred bond, much is at stake. Marriage is a life long union of one man and one woman that is sealed by vows of faithfulness made before God and in the presence of others. Any promiscuous behaviour that violates this cardinal principle would be damaging to marital happiness later.

Even great men had made mistakes in the matter of choosing a life partner and had paid dearly for the same. It is said of Abraham Lincoln, the great American President that the great tragedy of his life was not his assassination, but his marriage. When Booth fired, Lincoln did not know what had hit him, but for 23 years he had reaped almost daily the “bitter harvest of conjugal infelicity,” according to one biographer.

The moral is that one should know to whom one is sending the Valentine Day greetings.

But man-woman relationship ordained by God calls for celebration. George Eliot puts it beautifully: “What greater thing is there for two human souls than to feel that they are joined for life – to strengthen each other in all labour, to rest on each other in all sorrow, to minister to each other in all pain, to be one with each other in silent, unspeakable memories at the moment of the last parting.”

M P K Kutty


Taking a cue from Japan’s economic growth
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, February 8
Japan, which enjoys one of the highest per capita income in the world and where the economic benefits of development had percolated to all areas and all sections of society, was faced with a zero to negative growth rate on account of falling prices (deflation). The authorities there are now concentrating on expanding their global business by being cost-competitive and offering productivity and ability-linked wage system to survive the phenomenon.

This has been the observation of some of the members of a team of Indian entrepreneurs who recently concluded their fortnight-long tour to Japan to study human resource (HR) management, corporate management practices and the relationship between the employees and the employers there.

Mr Rajiv Chawla, general secretary of the Faridabad Small Industries Association (FSIA), who was a member of the 12-member study team, told the ‘NCR Tribune’ that the tour had been a real eye-opener as it provided an inside view of the economy and management practices prevalent there.

He said while the banks in Japan offered zero per cent interests on deposits, the banking and insurance companies were not in a position to earn profits. He said the Japanese had now awakened to the fact that high wage cost, which constituted 80 per cent of their national cost, had been rendered uncompetitive. The companies there had started focusing their attention on setting up plants in other Asian countries, especially China.

He said the ‘social, political uncertainty’ and some other hurdles in the countries like India had proved not a good experience for many Japanese investors, so the countries like China had become their favourite option. More than 20,000 Japanese companies have invested in China.

According to Mr Chawla, at the peak of development and technology, the unions in Japan had realised that the current wage system of annual increment might not survive unless the corporations or companies found suitable means to tackle negative growth. The unions, he said, had been advocating productivity-linked, ability and performance-based wage system. The unions of ‘Toyata Motor Corporation’ in their demand for 2003-2004 had requested for zero per cent wage increase.

He claimed that the steep economic development had brought in its wake many a socio-structural change. Late marriages and couples’ preference to stay childless had become the order of the day and the population growth rate had gone negative.

The management there had been trying to cut down high labour cost increases by technological innovations and going for more technological collaborations in other countries to face the global competition.

However he said, Japan, still remained a country of strong corporate values, continuous improvement with respect for people, a unique combination of clean politicians, intelligent bureaucracy and hard working work force. The most important management resources were the ability to think, innovate, develop and act that belonged to every single person or worker. Mutual trust, respect in work place, stable employment, fairness and consistency had been the hallmarks of modern management there.

He said the team interspersed between many classroom sessions, seminars and group discussions in Tokyo, which also included a case study on HR management in Citizen watch company. The team selected by the All India Organisation of Employers (AIOE) also visited Makita Corporation in Nagoya City.


Murti Sthapana festival on February 9
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, February 8
The fifth annual ‘Murti Sthapana’ festival will be celebrated at Shri Santoshi Mata Mandir, Jail Road, Hari Nagar, on February 9.

The celebration will be inaugurated by Mr Shamsher Bahadur Saxena, the founder of the temple, by lighting the holy Akhand Jyoti at 8 am.

Adequate arrangements have been made for the devotees coming to visit the temple.

Cultural activities including dance programmes will be held in the evening to highlight the rich heritage of the country.

Bhandara will be served from 4 pm onwards for the devotees and night-long jagran will also be held. 


Minor raped by three youths
Our Correspondent

Bhiwani, February 8
Three youths reportedly raped a 14-year-old girl at Badsi village under the Buwani Khera police station last evening. The father of the victim registered a report with the police saying that Pradeep, son of Mahender, Vinod, son of Prakash, and Pandu, son of Kitab, all of the same village, abducted his daughter and allegedly raped her. The police have registered a case under Sections 376 and 34 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) against the accused.

Dowry harassment

Three members of a family, including two women, have been charged with harassing a woman for dowry and threatening her with dire consequences. A complaint was lodged with the police in this connection here today. Saroj, wife of Ashok, said in her complaint that her husband and mother-in-law had been harassing and beating her on the name of dowry since her marriage. The police have registered a case against Ashok, mother-in-law Harbai and Pushpa, wife of Dharmpal of Krishna colony, under Sections 406, 323, 324, 506 and 34 of the IPC. No arrest has been made so far.

11-year-old crushed by truck

New Delhi: In a tragic incident, an 11-year-old boy was crushed to death by a truck last night in Mehrauli area. The victim, Chand, was returning home from his father’s dhaba when the mishap occurred. The police said that he was crossing the road when he was hit by the dumper truck killing him on the spot. The driver fled the spot after the incident and the police have launched a manhunt to trace him.

Blankets destroyed in fire

Panipat: Blankets and raw materials worth several lakhs of rupees were destroyed in a blanket manufacturing unit – Gaba Blankets — behind the Gaushala Society here on Friday night. According to information, a short circuit is believed to be the cause of the fire. As many as four fire tenders were pressed into service to put out the blaze, which had raged till late in the night. No loss of life was reported.

8-year-old knocked down by car

Sonepat: Vikas Pandey, an eight-year-old student, was killed on the spot after he was hit by a car on the GT Road near Pio Munyari, about 15 km from here, today. According to a report, the victim was crossing the road when the car in high speed hit him. The police have registered a case against the car driver on the charge of rash and negligent driving and causing death.

Suicide bid foiled

The attempt to commit suicide by a youth Ramesh (25) was foiled by his parents in Machhrauli village near here last evening. According to a report, the youth swallowed sulphas tablets and his condition became serious. He was rushed to the local civil hospital by his parents from where he was shifted to a hospital in Delhi for further treatment. The police are still investigating into the case.

HC stays teachers’ transfer

The Punjab and Haryana High Court has stayed the transfer of 134 JBT schoolteachers of this district who had been declared surplus by the Education Department. According to a report, the court has fixed March 7 as the next date of hearing in this case.

Three held in snatching case

The Civil Lines police have arrested three youths, Amit, Sandeep and Pradeep, all residents of Baroli village, in connection with the alleged snatching of a gold chain from the neck of a woman standing in a street in the Nandwani Nagar area of this city about two months ago.


Sheila joins ‘health’ walk in rural areas
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, February 8
Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit and Health Minister A. K. Walia today joined a walk by volunteers promoting good health and wellbeing. The 24-kilometre-long Health Rally was organised by the Divya Jyoti Jagrati Sansthan as part of its campaign to create awareness about health among rural people.

The rally concluded at Punjab Khor that was the venue of a Health Mela, also being organised by the Divya Jyoti Jagrati Sansthan. Dr S. K. Arora of the non-government organisation (NGO) said the health parade comprised people on foot, scooters, motorcycles, cars, tempos, buses, trucks and tractors.

The vehicles with banners carrying messages of good health passed through Mangolpur Kalan, Pooth Kalan, Begumpur, Karala, Kanjhawala, Ladpur, Jaunti and terminated at Punjab Khor.

Dr Arora said the Health Mela showcased Indian systems of medicine and offered health check-ups and treatment by medical practitioners. Fifty stalls were set up for the purpose.

He said socio-cultural programmes, street plays, health chat and lectures would be organised over the weekend. Blood donation camps would be another feature of the campaign.

Dr Arora said the sansthan would adopt 66 villages in North and North West Delhi for dental and eye care. A state-of-the-art mobile dispensary would visit every village after regular intervals. Cataract cases detected by the mobile dispensary would be treated free of cost at the nearest government hospital, he added.

Gurmukh Singh scholarships to 15

The International Council of Punjabis today announced the grant of Giani Gurmukh Singh Musafir scholarships to 15 deserving students from various schools. The scholarship was announced on the occasion of the 104th birth anniversary of Padma Vibhushan Giani Gurmukh Singh Musafir.

The Union Minister, Mr Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa, on the occasion released four volumes of books compiling the works of the former Punjab Chief Minister and noted poet. The volumes include Musafir’s poems, short stories and autobiography.

Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit released two-volume cassettes of Giani’s poetry converted into songs and former Prime Minister I. K. Gujral presented the first-day cover of the stamp released by the Department of Posts in memory of Giani Gurmukh Singh Musafir. Mr Gujral said the Giani was a multi-faceted personality whose spirit of dedication and sincerity was a great inspiration for everyone. 

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